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This Is Pil
Double Vinyl, Gatefold
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This is PiL
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Widely regarded as one of the most innovative and influential bands of all time PiL's music and vision earned them 5 UK Top 20 Singles and 5 UK Top 20 Albums. With a shifting line-up and unique sound John Lydon guided the band from their debut album First Issue in 1978 through to 1992's That What Is Not, before a 17 year hiatus. John then resurrected PiL in 2009 playing live worldwide. Now after 20 years yet another new and unique chapter is set to unfold in the shape of new PiL material. This Is PiL will contain 12 new tracks and is self-funded by PiL and will be released on PiL's own label 'PiL Official' John Lydon talks about This Is PiL: ''Well, 12 songs, where do I begin? Everything and anything that attracts my attention. 'One Drop' is about my early youth in Finsbury Park. Fantastic! Hello, we're all teenagers don't you forget it! At any age, stay young. 'Lollipop Opera' is basically a beautiful bunch of background noise and music to sum up Britain and all its wonderful ambidextrous-ness! 'The Room I Am In' well that's about drugs and council flats. And there's a tragedy that still continues. 'I Must Be Dreaming' Well, you know, I must be to put up with these governments.''
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From start to finish this album is a rhythmically,melodicallyand instrumentally sonic adventure. There's plenty of that punk guitar bubbling up from below but it stays there,with none of the songs turning into the cliched noise fest. Some of the lyrics are just chants,others say quite a lot. The title song that opens the album,much as with "One Drop","Deeper Water" and "Terra Gate" are the more rockier numbers and get the ball rolling with a lot of commentary on non conformity. "Human" is a stripped down,lightly electronic dance-rock tune that is more of a lyrically reflective version of what No Doubt did a decade ago on occasion. "I Must Be Dreaming" has a brighter funk flavor to it,continuing the bands previous forays into that music "I Said That","The Room I Am In" and "Fool" all have a scewed,almost psychedelic arrangement but a much darker tone overall. The surf punk of "Reggie" speaks about a conceptualization of Christian after life. Another stripped down dance rocker "Out Of The Woods" closes the album.
Basically this is somewhat representative of music coming out of the darkness. There's overtones of grunge rocks moodiness. But without the faux theatrics that got mixed up in that music's public image. It takes from the punk roots of that whole era and concentrates on developing the grooves as opposed to guitar solos. The result is either a more dancable,funkier or another rhytmically complicated variation that matches some of Lydon's exploratory and consciously left of center lyrical assersions. Sometimes they actually make perfect sense socially. Other times they drift off into another world. Having only heard bits and pieces of their other music,I cannot tell what sort of progression this album is from their earlier music. It's also been a twenty year gap since their last studio release as well. On the other hand there's something important here. John Lydon (as Johnny Rotton) got the music world shaken up in the late 70's with the advent of British punk. And now with the band he followed that on with he has an opportunity to do something very similar. Only maybe in a somewhat quieter,less directly confrontational manner
The album opens up with "This is PIL". essentially it's just Lydon saying over and over in 3 different ways "hey...PIL's back!" and it suits him just well, he has always had a loud mouth so telling us his projects back in this manner is a fitting introduction track. The next track is One Drop which I'm sure all PIL fans have heard by now either via radio, download or Youtube. Deeper water is sung with a sort of stream of consciousness style. The next 2 tracks are typical Post Punk rock songs, Terra-Gate being much quicker paced and more energetic and Human having a catchy quirkiness to it, really nice guitar on the latter's track. I Must Be Dreaming has a more relaxed and funky feel to it, really chill song. It Said That is very spacey, as far as sound is concerned, and an awesome chorus, has a very southern eurpoean flavor to it (it sound like its from another song I just cannot place my finger on at the moment). The Room I am In is very gothic rockish in style, kinda like something you would expect to hear from Peter Murphy or Bauhaus, very personal lyrics with an eastern feel to them. Lollipop Opera is an experimental track, even for PIL's standards, lots of electronics in here, it's a standout track on the record. Fools is very straight forward, nothing really special, a typical PIL track, imo the least interesting on the record, but still not a bad song by any means. Reggie Song is an upbeat song, another rocker, very similar to something you would hear off of "Happy?" in fact. The final track, Out of The Woods, is another great song, probly my favorite off the entire record. Its a 9 min. long epic track with a nice slow build up and incredible chorus, worthy enough to stand up to anything off of Metal Box.
The record is very strong, it proves Lydon can steer his crew in the right direction even after such a long hiatus. in fact I would say its a good place to start if you are new to Public Image Limited. Not only would I recommend this to PIL Fans but also to fans of newer music. Why is that you might say? Because on This Is PIL, you can hear Trip Hop, Alt. Rock, Gothic Rock, Industrial and a bit of Electronic.... and you very well should. Public Image Ltd heavily inspired many artists in those genres, in fact one could say Mr Lydon and crew helped reinvent rock when it was becoming boring and stale in the latter half of the 70's and early 80's, becoming the very first (or one of the very first) "alternative" group(s).
Its a record I will enjoy putting next to Metal Box or Flowers of Romance....if I can get it out of my car! If "selling out" is doing butter ads to form and fund your own record label and release an incredible comeback album, then by all means Mr Rotten, sell out a few more times for us please!
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The loyalty to John Lydon is immense froma faithful throng that back him through thin and thinner and my goodness this...Read more