Incredibly, What The World Needs Now… is Public Image Limited’s 10th album, although it could have been so much more had they not had that 17 year gap before releasing This is PiL in 2012. John Lydon’s returns with that acidic tongue of his bellowing his typically witty and relevant lyrics over some great instrumentation which sees PiL returning toward some heavier punk rock sounds but always experimenting. You can never know what Lydon or PiL are going to do next.
6/10 Clinton Staff review, 02 September 2015Probably the worst song I’ve ever heard is ‘Double Trouble’ the opening catastrophe on this new album by John Lydon’s Public Image Limited. Yet another moment when you wished that they had stopped after ’The Flowers of Romance’. So with that in mind are there any redeeming features on here? Well let’s avoid the despairing 'Double Trouble' and head straight on to Know You’ which actually isn't too bad. Ok this is a bastardised PIL but the guitars have that Keith Levene strangulation, Lydon actually reigns in his vocal a bit and it works perfectly fine. I heard ‘Bettie Page’ on the single and wished I hadn’t so I’m avoiding that too. Onto ‘C’est La Vie’ which has a spooky eerie vibe to it with dark bass tones and weird, disconcerting guitar figures. Christ this is better - why oh why was ‘Double Trouble’ ever inflicted on the earth? Things are running along reasonably - ’Spice of Choice’ and ’The One’ would not be seen as totally disastrous on the mid ’80’s PIL albums - kind of poppy with the lopsided post punk stylings still intact. ‘Big Blue Sky’ sounds like that moment in the studio when someone says ‘let’s jam’ following a King Tubby soundtracked lunch break….and Lydons vocal is typically overbearing. I imagine he isn’t the easiest bloke for a producer to tell to shut up so get gets free reign to ruin large swathes of the album... ‘bit tits …ya bollocks’, he wails on dreadful closer ’Shoom’. The album is though not the complete disaster that the worst bits suggest. Instead, use your skip button liberally and you get partly what you might expect - an album which shows something of the old flair and eerie dubby rock but one that you’ll perhaps play a couple of times before filing it sheepishly behind your copy of ‘Metal Box’.
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- What The World Needs Now by Public Image Limited
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