Jan 21, 2013

Matt Johnson - Burning Blue Soul (1981)


Johnson's gift was making art and torment and inaccessibility accessible with The The. Before that gift was properly realized, however, he produced Burning Blue Soul in which nervous self-awareness, disorienting loops, and arty percussion were met with a punkish disregard for pop structures, and a half-assed psychedelic haze tied together disparate ideas and genres. It's a paranoid mess which for all its eccentricities manages to feel monochromatic, it's expressionistic but too planned and analytic to convey anything other than said self-awareness and paranoia, and it somehow manages to turn experimentation into tedium. Maybe if I hadn't started my day with twee pop I'd be more appreciative of his gloomy post-punk defiance, but I think it all just works better restricted to a pop framework- he writes a killer song when he wants to, and his pains and frustrations are more potent when they border on catchy

C-

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