Thursday, 30 May 2019

Magazine - The Correct Use Of Soap (1980)

I want to burn again....

  

Released May 1980

This was post-punk band Magazine's third studio album and is a pretty impressive one, very much catching the spirit of 1980, after punk but before new romantic. Their sound was all jangling, stabbing guitars, pounding drums, mysterious keyboards topped of by weird-looking singer Howard Devoto's classic post-punk voice.

TRACK LISTING

1. Because You're Frightened
2. Model Worker
3. I'm A Party
4. You Never Knew Me
5. Philadelphia
6. I Want To Burn Again
7. Thank You (Falettin' Me Be Mice Elf Again)
8. Sweetheart Contract
9. Stuck
10. A Song From Under The Floorboards                    

"Because You're Frightened" is a superb, lively opener with a riff that sounds a lot like the one The Clash used on 1981's "Police on My Back". This is as loose and melodic as Magazine had been thus far. "Model Worker" was even more so, surprisingly, sounding a bit like The Buzzcocks with its frantic, riffy beat and bleaty vocal. "I'm A Party" is a mannered, posturing post-punk veering to new romantic song. "You Never Knew Me" has distinct echoes of Soft Cell's Marc Almond in Howard Devoto's vocal delivery. The song also features some excellent guitar and bass lines and an atmospheric piano and bass interplay bit near the end.


"Philadelphia" is a very post-punk number that just has that very 1979-81 vibe to it that is difficult to describe but if you hear it it takes you to that era. "I Want To Burn Again" could have come straight from Lou Reed's 1973 "Berlin" album. again, it is very typical of its age and genre. The band's cover of Sly & The Family Stone's "Thank You (Falettin' Me Be Mice Elf Again)" is unexpected, but beautifully and deeply bassy. Post-punkers could do drug-crazed urban funk, it seems. "Sweetheart Contract" is another very archetypal post-punk number, while the slight funky edge returns on "Stuck".

They saved the best to last on this album. "A Song From Under The Floorboards" is a Soft Cell-ish slow burning masterpiece in the style of "The Light Pours Out Of Me". It is full of great keyboard runs, wonderful guitar, bass and one of Devoto's best vocals. Great stuff. Magazine split the following year after only one more album. This, and "Real Life" were their best offerings.

B-

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