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Commercial Suicide

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Reseña de álbum

Coming almost five years after Not To (1982), the ominously titled Commercial Suicide was Colin Newman's fourth solo album. It was so named because one track — in the early stages of its recording — sounded like a song by Suicide, only more commercial. For this project, Newman assembled a group featuring Minimal Compact's Malka Spigel, future Brian Eno and Dead Can Dance collaborator John Bonnar, and 11-string, horn, and woodwind musicians. Whereas Not To centered on taut rhythmic patterns and immediately catchy melodies, Commercial Suicide approaches listeners in a more subtle, measured fashion, its sound often deliberate and spacious, at times recalling the abstract textures of Provisionally Entitled the Singing Fish (1981). That's not to say this album lacks a pop sensibility. Rather, Newman's intelligent, minimalist re-imaginings of pop take a different form here. While his previous work with Wire provided blueprints for the quirky, angular sound of bands like Elastica, several tracks on Commercial Suicide prefigure another tendency within Britpop, the deconstructed symphonic pop done so well by Blur. This is clearest on "Their Terrain," its swelling brass and rising strings suggesting a skewed take on the Beatles, and "But I...," Newman's richly orchestrated play on lyrical clichés. Most memorable, however, are the album's pared-down, fluid, electronically nuanced tracks that, in some ways, evoke the sound and feel of 4AD's This Mortal Coil project. Among those, the numbers featuring Spigel's haunting, disembodied vocals in addition to Newman's singing are the most compelling: for instance, the down-tempo "2-Sixes," with its slight percussive layer, resonant bass, and looping guitar fragments, and the thicker, austere electronic ambiance of "I Can Hear Your...." Commercial Suicide might not be chart fodder, but its appealing indie pop sound is far from the debacle that its title ironically suggests.


Nacido/a: Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, 16 de septiembre de 1954

Género: Alternativa

Años de actividad: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Although Colin Newman is most readily associated with Wire, like bandmates Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis, he has undertaken numerous additional creative endeavors. Across a range of projects, the Wire guitarist/vocalist has consistently reinvented himself, venturing from post-punk art pop into ambient, electronic territory, along the way producing other artists and setting up his own label. Newman was born in Salisbury, England, in 1954 and attended Watford School of Art, where he studied under...
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Commercial Suicide, Colin Newman
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