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article imageReview: Public Image Ltd return with 'What The World Needs Now…'

By Adrian Peel     Sep 1, 2015 in Music
The post-punk pioneers, John Lydon's first project after the demise of The Sex Pistols, released "This is PiL" in 2012, their first album in 20 years. Now they're back with the follow-up, but is it as good as its predecessor?
Established in 1978 Public Image Ltd, at that time consisting of the Artist Formerly Known as Johnny Rotten on vocals, Jah Wobble on bass, Keith Levene on guitar and Jim Walker on drums, released their debut LP that same year.
1979 witnessed their defining moment, Metal Box, an experimental album that came in a metal box. The artistic statements kept on coming over the following decade, albeit with various lineup changes, culminating with 1992's That What Is Not. Phase One was now complete.
Phase Two began in earnest in 2009 with a series of UK shows. The aforementioned This is PiL, a critically acclaimed return to form, followed in 2012 and featured Lydon, guitarist Lu Edmonds, bass player Scott Firth and drummer Bruce Smith.
This same quartet are set to put out their new, entirely self-funded 11-track CD on September 4. The songs were recorded at Steve Winwood’s studio in the Cotswolds and among them is punchy first single - and opening number - “Double Trouble.” It's a very lively tune and there's certainly no mistaking the vocalist!
Lydon's enjoyable half-spoken, half sung delivery is once again used to great effect on track two "Know Now," a song that furiously updates the frantic alternative rock sound of the early 1980s. "Bettie Page" is rather dark and moody, especially during the verses, but could definitely be a future single.
"Spice of Choice" sees the singer at his sneering best and contains amusing lyrics, while the band succeed in channelling Pink Floyd on the atmospheric "Big Blue Sky." "Whole Life Time," "I'm Not Satisfied" and "Shoom" are further highlights.
The rather aggressive "Corporate" is a little more difficult to digest, musically speaking, but its message comes across loud and clear.
The Album Cover
The Album Cover
Libby Coffey
Happily, Lydon, a pop music veteran who turns 60 in January 2016, sounds remarkably alive and alert (the other musicians also play their part) throughout, successfully captivating the listener's imagination with his in-your-face vocal style and strangely appealing charm that thankfully hasn't waned as the years have gone by.
In answer to the question posed at the start, this album is not only as good as its predecessor, it's better.
What the World Needs Now..., PiL's 10th studio album released via PiL Official, will be available to buy or download from September 4.
For more information, visit the band's official website.
More about Public Image Ltd, Pil, john lydon, johnny rotten, the sex pistols
 
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