Public Image Ltd: What the World Needs Now (PIL Official) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Wednesday, April 8th, 2020  

Public Image Ltd.

What the World Needs Now

PIL Official

Sep 03, 2015 Issue #54 - August/September 2015 - CHVRCHES Bookmark and Share

Whether you think the world needs another Public Image Ltd record depends entirely on how you feel about John Lydon. The cantankerous master antagonist rarely invokes an ambivalent reaction in people: it's either love or hate. The fact he's been creating an array of startling, throttling sounds for nearly 40 years is, sadly, almost a sideshow.

Public Image Ltd's tenth studio album finds Lydon as restlessly aggressive and sardonically astute as ever. On taut, bass heavy cuts like "Bettie Page" and "Double Trouble" he confronts society's ills through ugly sonic caricatures driven by his own growling, snarling impressionism.

Sonically, it's a dark and moribund affair"C'est La Vie" is an especially impoverished post-punk funeral marchyet occasional jaunty rhythms, such as "The One," offer a glimpse of a man happy in himself, if not the world around him. It may never swing people's perceptions, but these 11 funk-stained numbers prove John Lydon is still as relevant and necessary as he has ever been. (

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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