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Correct Use of Soap [2007 Expanded]
     

The Correct Use of Soap [2007 Expanded]

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by Magazine
 

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This is something of a return to standard operational form for Magazine, who thawed after recording Secondhand Daylight to throw together an energetic batch of colorful and rhythmically intricate songs. It's an unexpected move considering that they enlisted Martin Hannett (Joy

Overview

This is something of a return to standard operational form for Magazine, who thawed after recording Secondhand Daylight to throw together an energetic batch of colorful and rhythmically intricate songs. It's an unexpected move considering that they enlisted Martin Hannett (Joy Division, A Certain Ratio, Crispy Ambulance), master of the gray hues, as the producer. A looser, poppier album than its predecessors -- somewhat ironically, a cover of Sly & the Family Stone's "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" is the most subdued song -- it features the rhythm section of John Doyle and Barry Adamson at their taut, flexible best and guitarist John McGeoch at his most cunningly percussive. Save for the called-for razzle-dazzle on "Sweetheart Contract," keyboardist Dave Formula takes more of a back seat, using piano more frequently and no longer driving the songs to the point of detracting from the greatness of his mates, as the most frequent complaint of Secondhand Daylight goes. Howard Devoto's lyrics are also a little less depressive, though they're no less biting. The closing "A Song from Under the Floorboards" -- another near-anthem, an unofficial sequel to "The Light Pours Out of Me" -- includes sticking Devoto-isms like "My irritability keeps me alive and kicking" and "I know the meaning of life, it doesn't help me a bit." His themes of distrust and romantic turbulence remain focal, evident in "You Never Knew Me" ("Do you want the truth or do you want your sanity?") and "I Want to Burn Again" ("I met your lover yesterday, wearing some things I left at your place, singing a song that means a lot to me"). "Because You're Frightened" is the closest they came to making a new wave hit, zipping along with as much unstoppable buoyancy as Lene Lovich's "New Toy" or the Teardrop Explodes' "Reward," yet it's all fraught nerves and paranoia: "Look what fear's done to my body!" Song for song, the album isn't quite on the level of Real Life, but it is more effective as a point of entry. [The expanded and remastered edition, released in 2007, adds four bonus tracks: "Twenty Years Ago," "The Book," "Upside Down," and the version of "The Light Pours Out of Me."]

Product Details

Release Date:
04/24/2007
Label:
Caroline
UPC:
0094638529521
catalogNumber:
85295

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The Correct Use of Soap 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
.....well, not really....but compared to Secondhand Daylight, Magazine's third album strolls, bounces and sounds rocks wonderfully. The opening 'Because You're Frightened' is an awesome post-punk monster, with relentlessly swirling guitars and a fantastic beat, and returns to the full-on single-friendly musical assault that early Magazine dazzlers like 'Definitive Gaze' and 'Shot by Both Sides' provided. There's some filler here and there, like 'Model Worker' and a cover of Sly Stone's 'Thank You', though both songs are marvellously performed and great to listen to. 'I'm a Party' isn't exactly classic Magazine material either, but it sounds good. 'Philadelphia' is absolutely awesome though: a real funky classic that shimmers and excites constantly. Dave Formula's keyboards are less striking on this album, but they're very effective. The way they glow in the background of 'Philadelphia' and then come to the forefront halfway through is dazzling. 'You Never Knew Me' is beautiful, really, really beautiful, probably the most beautiful Magazine song of them all. 'I Want to Burn Again' is a very good song, quirky and very catchy. 'A Song Under the Floorboards' was the single from the album, and it's a striking closer. 'Stuck' is excellent twisted funk rock, boasting a section halfway through that's really hypnotic and jaw-dropping. 'Sweetheart Contract' was another single and a Formula and John McGeoch showcase, very good it is too. Lots of great hooks in this song. The Correct Use of Soap is a really cool album, the band are on top form and Martin Hannett's production really adds pop bounce to the Magazine sound.