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Go Out Tonight

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Album Review

Paul Haig's second album of pop songs in two years, after nearly two decades focusing mostly on electronic instrumental music, Go out Tonight sounds very much like a conscious response to bands like the Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand, whose new wave of Brit-pop owes much to Haig's pioneering early-'80s band Josef K. Though an electronic sheen still covers most of Go out Tonight, the album has more guitars than anything he's recorded since he moved into electronic music with the start of his solo career in 1982, and the drums have more rock & roll stomp than dancefloor groove. A concept album of sorts in the sense that Haig's lyrics regularly touch on various aspects, both positive and negative, of a night on the town, Go out Tonight lacks the sort of shorthand urban poetry that Alex Turner and Alex Kapranos excel at in their own lyrics. Indeed, one of the album's most effective songs, the foreboding swirl of "Fantasize," is an instrumental. But Haig has never been known for his brilliant poesy, so the overall effect has more to do with how the songs sound than what they mean, and on that count, Go Out Tonight just might be the best album of Paul Haig's solo career. For the first time, Haig has returned to the scrappy indie rock rush of Josef K (the all-guitar final song, "Gone in a Moment," is the most overtly Josef K-like song in Haig's entire solo catalog) along with the sometimes chilly electronic sheen of earlier solo albums like Chain, and the dance-rock hybrid works as a treat throughout this energetic and immensely likeable album.


Born: 04 September 1960 in Edinburgh, Scotland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Paul Haig might be best known as the frontman of Scottish post-punk band Josef K, whose lone official record played a major role in the development of the C-86 scene that followed a few years after the group's disintegration. Haig continued with a number of involvements in the following decades, releasing a number of records on his own in addition to issuing several collaborative efforts. The early-'80s breakup of Josef K also saw him abandon some of the anti-commercial ideals that he previously...
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Go Out Tonight, Paul Haig
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