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#156: Closer by Joy Division

1.07.2016

Closer by Joy Division (1980)

Favorite Tracks: "Passover" and "Twenty Four Hours"

Thoughts: (Before Listening) So I THINK back in the day my friend Erin had me watch Control (2007) and I remember nothing about it other than the fact that it was in black and white and sad. I know Joy Division is a super-revered Indie (?) band. This is their second and final studio album released the summer after lead singer Ian Curtis' suicide. Their biggest hit was the single "Love Will Tear Us Apart" and every time I try to remember it I just end up singing Captain and Tenille (which I'm sure Joy Division song is a reference to).

So based off my limited knowledge of the band and their discography, you can tell I'm going into Closer with a pretty blank slate. Here goes.

(After Listening) On "Atrocity Exhibition" I absolutely loved the percussion, hated the distorted guitar, but apparently that was a post-production choice and Peter Hook (who played it) hated how it turned out too: "Made it sound like somebody strangling a cat, and to my mind, absolutely killed the song." I concur!

When I saw that the next track was called "Isolation" this song popped into my head:



I expected to like the Boosh's version better than Joy Division's, but they are both great! Loved the keyboard on the latter.

The beginning of "Passover" was reminiscent of a Bruce Springsteen song, so you know I was down for that. "Colony" reminded me of Talking Heads, again I was a fan of the percussion, as well as the lyrics: God in his wisdom made you understand, God in his wisdom took you by the hand. "A Means to an End" was fine as well, but not very distinguishable from the previous tracks, in my opinion.

"Heart and Soul" was a moody, darker song that I enjoyed--again with the percussion! Easily my favorite part of this album is the drums. But man, from second 0:01 I liked "Twenty Four Hours." The guitar riffs are awesome, slowly building to a faster tempo, and the lyrics are just the kind I like. You know, hopeless and despairing!
Excessive flashpoints, beyond all reach,
Solitary demands for all I'd like to keep.
Let's take a ride out, see what we can find,
A valueless collection of hopes and past desires.
"The Eternal" is another nice moody song, as was "Decades", which I felt had a more 80s pop sensibility to it.

Is This Better Than Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy?: The drums were excellent, the lyrics thoughtful, and the tone intriguing. But it didn't engage me in the same way CFATBDC did!

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