Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine - 1992 (The Love Album) (Music CD)

Release Date: 05 November 2012
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What turned out to be Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine's shortest album, at a mere 36 minutes, was also its most commercially successful, debuting in the U.K. at number one and confirming the band as a massive draw. Unfortunately for the duo, things would never be quite the same again, with subsequent releases first lost in the post-grunge fallout and then more radically in the major zeitgeist shift to Britpop. With 1992, though, their shouldn't-succeed-but-still-does combination of synthesizer/rock fanfares -- opening instrumental "1993" is particularly brilliant at this, playing up the sense of artificial bombast the rest of the album relentlessly critiques -- pun-heavy but still empathetic lyrics and tunefulness works perfectly. The European Union flag providing the cover and title refers to the then-groundbreaking fusion of governments and policies in the continent, but Carter's appropriately sharp dedication -- "to our friends in 'Yugoslavia'," as that conflict spiralled out of control -- shows where the album's questioning mindset was aimed. While lead single "The Only Living Boy in New Cross" was a bit anthemic-Carter-by-numbers, the brilliant, Spinal Tap-sampling pop roar of "Do Re Me, So Far So Good" and a closing cover of the Man of La Mancha standard "The Impossible Dream" both were deserved standouts. Equally cutting and affecting tracks cropped up throughout -- "England" is a brilliant example, portraying a totally gutted country through the eyes of someone on the losing end of things. Accompanied by traditional, folky instrumentation, it's a calm but pointed vivisection of a place practically not worth it anymore. Perhaps the sleeper cut is "While You Were Out," which underneath all the references to being burned as a witch for playing punk rock or the like is a heartfelt call from one person to another, just to get back in touch. ~ Ned Raggett

More Detail

1. 1993
2. Is Wrestling Fixed
3. The Only Living Boy in New Cross
4. Suppose You Gave a Funeral and Nobody Came
5. England
6. Do Re Me So Far So Good
7. After the Watershed
8. Look Mum, No Hands
9. While You Were Out
10. Skywest and Crooked
11. The Impossible Dream
12. The 90's Revival
13. A Nation of Shoplifters
14. This Is How It Feels
15. Panic
16. Watching the Big Apple Turn Over
17. King Rocker
18. Mannequin
19. Down in the Tube Station At Midnight
20. Turn On, Tune in and Switch Off
21. When Thesauruses Ruled the Earth
22. Bring On the Girls
23. Another Brick in the Wall
24. Look Mum, No Hands (Live At the Feile Festival, 31 July 1992)
25. Anytime Anyplace Anywhere (Live At the Feile Festival, 31 July 1992)
26. Sheriff Fatman (Live At the Feile Festival, 31 July 1992)
27. A Prince in a Paupers Grave (Live At the Feile Festival, 31 July 1992)
28. While You Were Out (Live At the Feile Festival, 31 July 1992)
29. Shopper's Paradise (Live At the Feile Festival, 31 July 1992)
30. After the Watershed (Live At the Feile Festival, 31 July 1992)
31. Bloodsport for All (Live At the Feile Festival, 31 July 1992)
32. A Perfect Day to Drop the Bomb (Live At the Feile Festival, 31 July 1992)

Release Date: 05 November 2012
Catalogue No: C4046082