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The Flowers of Romance
Like it or not, Messers. Lydon and Levene are very much back, alive and kicking… er, squirming. And it's the PiL we've come to love to hate to love.
Well, not quite. Nothing you've heard is going to fully prepare you for this. Gone are the bass and the squealing guitar. Gone is the anti-disco disco beat. Gone is Jah Wobble, period. In fact, even if you adored Second Edition, even if you liked wedging albums in a metal can, you're not ready for this one.
But maybe you are. This should be retitled My Death in the Bush of Life for two reasons. First, they're doing what Eno and Byrne really wanted to do, but wouldn't; that is, perfectly uniting African cross-rhythmatics and primal chants with that so-called "new wave" sensibility (all of which aches with dancibility). Second, it's a "living" album, full of vigor and the first truly up record of a decade that has seen too much joy Division and Gary Numan.
This is a much less "busy" effort than Second Edition and is more listenable. Lydon and Levene have again pushed dance music further into the 21st century. What can you say about a dance album with no bass... that works?
- Jerry Sumrell