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We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 28, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

John Maus lives in his birthplace of Austin, Minnesota. Whilst working towards his PhD in Political Science, he also composes music that taps into melancholic fantasy and affirms that we are all truly alive. Questing synthesizers, tensely strung bass lines and chasing drum machines providing the perfect backdrop for John's deeply resonant reverb-drenched vocal. His is curious conflux of influences partially helps to describe John's music. It's a world where the Germs jam with Jerry Goldsmith, Cabaret Voltaire relocate to Eternia and Josquin des Prez writes a new score for RoboCop.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 28, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ribbon
  • ASIN: B004YKB50G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,906 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
In a less humdrum, by the numbers world--airwaveswise--this would be a huge, triple platinum smash, and Stefani Germanotta (honestly, can you blame that girl for resorting to a stage name!) would give her last lobster shoe to bring over to Interscope. Forget about the buzz. Despite his Glo-Fi penchant for occasionally dirtying-up some of these diabolically infectious stunners with what sounds like old time tape-cassette player hiss, this isn't really another ever so slightly loving-hands-of-home Lo-Fi special for Maus. "Bedroom act" it may be still, but it sure doesn't sound that way anymore. Massive, deep space reverb and all, it sounds more like every ultra-trendy, everything-80's-is-new-again trick in the book folded it all into an album's worth of enthralling, super hooky pop tunes that against all odds, and in stark contrast to everything he's done previously, leaves Cee-Lo and company in the console tweaking dust. In short, pretty much a rush from start to finish.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A short and very easy on the ears listen that harkens back to pure early 80s new romantic/ goth synthpop. Sisters of mercy vocals come to mind as does the cold monotone styles of John Foxx and other lesser known electronic artists of the era.

Its hard not to like this as for this listener it brings back my own teenage years which were spent seeking out the latest European and uk electronic artists and this album pretty much nails it perfectly. Fat analogue sounding synths- pulsing catchy bass and drums- disinterested vocals sung from a retro future that I once envisoned and which never materialized. Its dark but not depressing and it really seems Maus has his tongue firmly planted in his cheek or at least one would hope.

The whole album is consistent in its vision in honor to the 80s underground and at times the songs sound in every way as if they are being produced and played in 1982 London. My favorites include the awkward titled and FBI attention grabbing lyrics of "Cop Killer" and the closer "Believer" which really touches on an aural and emotional level. As mentioned there's not a weak track though some of the more "gothy" baritone vocals can be a little much at times.

I subtracted two stars for album length which is short- 32 minutes and for the fact that it really is nothing more then a tribute to a bygone era. Perhaps that's a bit unfair as it really is handled so well by Maus and comes across as authentic and a good listen.

For fans of 80s electronic music goth Ultravox Sisters of mercy -Cabaret Voltaire mid period Depeche mode Gary Numan etc etc
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By Robert! on January 25, 2013
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
A Gorgio Moroder meets Vangelis production style with Scott Walker, Billy MacKenzie, Ian Curtis, Peter Murphy, and Brian Ferry providing the vocals. John Maus' music is lush, synthesizer brain massage/
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Format: Vinyl
This album is more a Ambient/New Age influence in the sound/feel of the album wiht a post punk underpinning & less of a synth neon blues & neon jazz contrast of elements in the Maus' Unreleased Rarities album.

Streetlight, the first track has a kind of 'serve the servants' inventive melody hook threading itself through the song; & so the songs go. Quantum Leap ambient post punkish, Hey Moon is a chill-out classic, then 'keep on pushing on', takes that blissful feel & puts it into a techno feel, yet without losing the centre of the feel in more upbeat form - or in otherwords it's really great. Crucifix is a short & well done 'ditty' feel to it, 'head for the country' is 2/3 sci-fi show jazz tune to ambient track; then 'Cop Killer' is kind of the album's 'Rape Me' track with a haunting & descending motiff that just refuses to not get under your ear-drums.

'Matter of Fact', had got that ditty, slight prog feel again, before back into a more fully fledged sci-fi jazz & ambient track; then the previous more techno feel of 'Keep Pushing On' is taken up a notch without leaking out in the euphoric 'Believer'.

The music all has a organ spaciousness running through it. The songs/sounds are more towards a stylistic form than a experimental compared to variety of Unreleased rarities album but this is done in the context of Censors more ambient presentation. It's still progressive type of composition stuff though. I think it's another Great album, it's a peaceful listen also in it's type of relaxation - low lows & low highs work best in opening up both it's sound & compositional canvas to my tastes - gets listened to a lot!

This version of it anyhow is a 45 r.p.m. album & like Unreleased, there are at least some nice variation to choose from in it's details.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
John Maus is the coolest artist of the decade. His sound is fresh, courageous and bold.
Maus is always trying to push the boundaries of pop music and defy our "musical common sense", presenting strange melodies with bizarre and provocative lyrics.
This album have his latest material, and its a bit more electronic than the first albums. The vynil package is great, and the art is awesome. If you want to start listening to Maus music, I think this album is the perfect place to start, it's better produced and more balanced than his older albums.
If you like this album, you should totally look out for the older ones. They are as great as this one, but they are more bizarre and inconsistent (the songs on the albums have a broader range of sounds and experimentation), but they are also gold.
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