Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Certain albums resonate very personal affinities and ties with us. Familiar sounds; clattering cymbals; wry remarks; incorrigible attitudes, whatever. Album art gives these aural qualities a face. Political undertones, philosophical connotations, or perhaps something as simple as an aesthetic pleasantry are reasons for this allure. I'm no anthropologist, nor do I particularly care for the study of human nature, so suffice to say that we like this art. Interpretations are imperative. Artistic freedom allows for the simple pleasure of having no single correct view, but multiple possibilities. Unless of course the artist has blatantly stated what their art is representative of - tough luck.

Here are a select few of my own favourites:

Killing Joke - What's THIS For...!

Desolate, dystopian, and gloomy. This looks like a ghastly isolated town recently hit by a nuclear bomb. The emptiness suits the hollow feel of the album. And that woman's also got some strong calves, she must work out. Unfortunately her gym is a pile of rubble.

Primal Scream - Screamadelica

This here is the delightful blob of paint that I've come to know as Mr. Screamadelica. Many a time have I received compliments regarding him (he has been my IM display picture on several occasions) and I greedily accepted them without mentioning that I never painted him. I wish I did paint him.

The Human League - The Dignity of Labour Pts. 1-4

Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, is depicted on his way to receiving an honourary medal from Nikita Khrushchev, to the delight of the ecstatic crowd. Small in stature, he became a Soviet celebrity and a critical piece of propaganda to gain sufferance towards his nation's cause. Is there much dignity in labour? Perhaps, but he's clearly put on a pedestal, looking down on the mere peasants that constructed his ship. Isolation. That's a big theme in this EP. It's extremely isolated and atmospheric; vast meandering sounds reflecting the space-world. Proto-Industrial from Sheffield.

Gang of Four - Entertainment!

It's fair to say that Gang of Four were a bunch of politicos, both in word and voice. Chants of injustice and hypocrisy abound, they took the extra step to ensure their views were noticed - as is seen in short phrases depicting the "white man" robbing the indigenous.

Gza/Genius - Liquid Swords

A battle on a chessboard - Chessboxin'. This album carries on with the Wu-Tang fascination with samurai culture and the animation shows. Gza's rhymes and wit are lyrical swords, knocking down his prey. Checkmate.

Killing Joke - The Fall of Because [mp3] [buy]
Primal Scream - Don't Fight It, Feel It [mp3] [buy]
The Human League - The Dignity of Labour Pt. 1 [mp3] [buy]
Gang of Four - Natural's Not In It [mp3] [buy]
Gza/Genius - Liquid Swords [mp3] [buy]


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