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PUBLIC IMAGE LTD – ‘What the World Needs Now’ Review

pilWe’re a couple of months late reviewing the latest album from Public Image Limited, their 10th studio album and first since 2012’s ‘This is PiL’ but the latest effort is really worth the wait from Mr. Lydon and crew.

Opening with the absolutely superb ‘Double Trouble’, an up-tempo song driven by a great riff and lyrics surrounding a domestic argument Lydon had with his wife about a blocked toilet! It’s one of my favourite Pil tracks ever and the accompanying video is good fun as well.

The album moves quickly into PiL territory with heavy bass lines underpinning Lydon’s distinctive snarl…throughout the album, Lydon tries many vocal approaches with whispers, shouting and tuneful singing which breaks out almost Blyth Power style on ‘Bettie Page’.

‘C’est la Vie’ would not sound out of place on the Flowers of Romance album and this latest album is very well produced and sounds great at high volume as long as your speakers can cope with the heavy bass.

PiL have always challenged the listener to evolve and grow and the pop infused ‘Spice of Choice’ ambles along pleasantly before building into a powerful chorus. It’s followed by ‘The One’, another track that is really strong with a seventies glam rock (think T-Rex) type riff – if this doesn’t have you nodding your head, I’m not sure what will.

The eight minute center piece of the album, ‘Big Blue Sky’, has Lydon chanting Native American tribal style over a dub infused bass – Lydon then brings his story telling approach to the track screaming “I’m alive, I have arrived…” launching into a keyboard backed chorus.

The entire album does not miss a beat and the musicianship is excellent across the board as is the aforementioned production. Lydon still sounds angry at the world, confident in his band and their songs. It’s a strong album, varied in approach but still PiL DNA running throughout. Ending with ‘Shoom’ where Lydon states that “all sex is bollocks” and the word play around “sucks sex” – The plea from Lydon is that ‘What the World’ needs now is another “fuck off”…in fact, a lot of stuff is “fucking bollocks”…but not this album!

Stumpy – Punk Online


Track Listing

  1. Double Trouble
  2. Know Now
  3. Bettie Page
  4. C’est La Vie
  5. Spice of Choice
  6. The One
  7. Big Blue Sky
  8. Whole Life Time
  9. I’m Not Satisfied
  10. Corporate
  11. Shoom