Sunday, 2 November 2014

Monaco Monaco As Requested By Brian


Monaco Monaco


Get It At Discogs
Just when we thought we were out, they pull us back in. Cpt Peter Hook - dogged bass renegade, part-time New Orderly and stubblesome leader of the indie-pop resistance - was never one for easy surrender. A lesser man would've crumbled under the weight of appalling circumstance that has plagued his 'pet' project Monaco. The sniffy reviews, the threat of mutiny (his singing/strumming foil David Potts auditioned for a role in the post-Guigsy Oasis) and the ultimate humiliation of being dropped by his record label never exactly bade well for the long-term. Yet against all odds, here they are again, brandishing the weapons of indignation and clinging like lichen to that stratum forever marked 'indie lite'. But things have changed round Monaco's way. Where their 1997 debut 'Music For Pleasure' revelled in its post-Britpop earnestness, 'Monaco' is simply an album of and about Pop. And, disengaged from the suffocatingly self-conscious 'indie' supply that rendered 'Music...' so trying, it's a truly lovely thing to behold; a pretence-free, summery shimmy through pop's enchanted garden, with tear-tugging Bacharachy bits and choruses of angels and everything. From the swaying, early Pulp-ish Cinemascope of 'End Of The World' to the Motown matinie heartbreak of 'Ballroom', there's little here we haven't heard before. Even breezy drum'n'bass (drum'n'bass!) closer 'Marine' sounds like Erasure. Yet, crucially, 'Monaco' is both immaculately conceived and perfectly, almost indecently sincere; an album that's happy - not gormlessly, but quietly and assuredly happy - with its lot. What's more, 'Monaco' harnesses brilliantly the universal power of the platitude - a force only operable in the very best pop music that renders lines like, "The only thing I care about/Never will come true" (from single 'I've Got A Feeling') sweet and sad and infinitely more affecting than any amount of pseudo-profound art-rock blubbery. And throughout it all, there's that bass, catching everything in its undulating undertow and sweeping us back to a time when all pop music was this heartfelt, this honest. It's not about progression, after all, it's about doing what you want to do. It's about taking a stand as they say,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's taken a while but I finally got back to your site and am so pleased to find this posting. Many thanks, it is much appreciated.

-Brian

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