Post InfoTOPIC: Very
Posted By: Rev'd Chris

Posted On: July 16th
Views: 130

I think Release is the obvious answer people were flocking to - but hear me out on this. We *knew* that Release was going to be a different sound, we knew this meant something that sounded like less synths.

I remember reading a review of Release when it came out (maybe in the AV Club or Chicago Reader?) saying something along the lines of "It's not as acoustic as they had threatened." And I think that's a good point: I was expecting it to be more of a departure, and they had sold it to us as a big departure, and I think it backfired on them.

Very, on the other hand, I think, thrives on its cognitive dissonance. It sounds nothing like what they'd done before, it really sounds like nothing else done before, and yet it was absolutely them. The videos underscore this entrance into this "hermetic world" we had finally been fully initiated into. It made sense and it didn't make sense.

Each track sounded vastly different to each other, for the most part, even "one and one make five" which is a song I don't particularly like, and while I think that is clearly the weakest track on the album, it remains on the album - instead of, say, "Shameless," because "Shameless" sounds too much like the other songs.

Today we kind of have accepted or domesticated Very as part of the corpus of PSB records. It was a resurrection or final extension of their "imperial phase." But hear me out on this: there were experimental aspects to the albums before this; they had done covers as non-album singles before this; but since Very -- as the book Smile as You Dare points out, but put in my terms -- we haven't been so surprised. Everything is post-very.

So someone mentioned Bilingual as disappointing; I was disappointed in it when I first heard it. Today I think it mostly holds up. But it was disappointing because we'd heard it mostly before. "Before" felt too familiar when it came out. "A Red Letter Day" could have been on Very. There are some surprises here, but nothing that deviates from song to song as with Very.

Just thinking out loud. Good question.

Posted By: Andrew

Posted On: July 25th
Views: 31
RE: Very

This is a well thought-out argument about Very. I came along to buying their music in the Bilingual period, so it was already established by then. The first many tracks on Bilingual confused me greatly the first time I heard them. I remember thinking it was all very strange. Even though some of the second-half album tracks are more traditional.

Posted By: Mika H

Posted On: July 26th
Views: 27
RE: Very

Solid read, no doubt!

Also reminds me of the differences on how PSB is remembered by "regular listeners" (i.e. people who aren't invested in PSB's music like a fan or even a peripheral fan would be). Like Wayne brought up a few days back, in America they're thought of a "1980s techno pop band" (if remembered at all).

Around here in Finland, at least, it's more like "... they DIDN'T stop with Go West?"/"They've made music after Go West!?" and so on.

So in that regard, around here (mainly for casual listeners) PSB most definitely can be classified to be in a permanent post-Very phase. ;]

Posted By: John in Nottingham

Posted On: July 28th
Views: 13
RE: Very

I am one of the few who voted for Very, having been a fan since Please, this was the album that made me ask "what is this", 20+ years later I have come to expect a change of style between with albums.


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