#461: Metal Box by Public Image Ltd.


Metal Box by Public Image Ltd. (1979)

Favorite Track(s): For the first time, I HAVE NONE

Thoughts: (Pre-Listening) I'm very excited to listen to this album because "Rise" is a fantastic song, so I have high hopes for this band's other work (even if that particular song isn't on Metal Box). I haven't listened to much Sex Pistols, but from "Rise" alone, I am shocked that Johnny Rotten (Lydon) could sound pop! Anyway, we'll see if this album is anything like it, as it was released quite a few years previously.

(Post-Listening) Quite...experimental. But experimental in that 'we-just-went-into-the-studio-and-tinkered-around-with-no-vision-or-talent' way rather than the 'changing-the-face-of-music' sense of the word. "Albatross" was almost totally unlistenable and much too long. Like, if I met someone who listened to it on any kind of regular basis, I would severely worry about their mental state. There's even a line in the lyrics that says, 'I know you very well / you are unbearable' and all I can think is, oh, you're one to talk.

"Memories" was better, in that it was half the length of "Albatross." "Swan Lake" was also unendurable, and I couldn't finish it due to the Tchaikovsky's sampled score giving me creepy Black Swan flashbacks! "Poptones" started out promising musically, only to be joined by the sound of someone snorting something and then the whole song dissolving into lyrical rubbish. As for the rest, they've made me too numb to dissect, except for the last one, "Radio 4" which sounded like a 1980s video game score and so was at least not soul-crushing, just bland.

Literally, if I had never heard "Rise" before listening to this album I would have said this band should never have been allowed to make any more music, ever. But clearly they must have somehow gotten better...maybe they made a deal with Satan? Bottom line: this album shouldn't have touched this list with a ten-foot pole, much less at #461. BARF.

Elton John is up next and all I can say is, thank you, Jesus. This list currently has me in a musical wasteland and desperate for something wonderful. I'll end up heralding Elton John as the greatest album of all time after listening to this non-music.

Note about album cover: The album did actually come in a metal box like the one pictured--not just an image of one. If I'm ever gifted it, I will chuck the record and use the case as a pizza stone.

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