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This Is Pil
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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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Look, if your a long time fan you may or may not embrace it right away if you disliked certain sections of their career. If you're new to them it won't matter and in some ways you would be lucky you'll be listening free of biases. Either way, it's a triumph as far as I'm concerned and more experimental yet melodic than most artists as long in the tooth career wise as Lydon is.
As for the songs themselves, the opener/title track is fitting, sort of a modern-day version of Theme. I like the next four songs and even though the lyrics sometimes feel a little forced they aggressively get the message across. Lollipop Opera stands out with its unique beat and bass line. The last two tracks are what make the album special. Reggie's Song does a great job of making you empathize with the subject. Out of the Wood is a real surprise. While I know that the song is about a black Confederate soldier, the story being told isn't completely obvious (and there is no lyric sheet). The thing it that it is such a great track musically that I want to listen to again and again and I am sure that it will eventually make sense.
My biggest problem with the album is that it (like most albums of the CD/post-CD era) is too long. Other than Metal Box (which was originally released as a triple EP, not a double LP), all of the rest of their albums have been the length of a traditional 40 minute LP. This time, the songs in the middle get lost in the shuffle and don't make much of an impact. They aren't horrible, they just aren't exceptional. I feel that it has much more of an impact this way with this running order:
This is PiL
Out of the Wood
One last thing, if you think you are likely to like this album, go ahead and buy the deluxe version. The DVD concert is very good.
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