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  1.  
    not so great review in the wire magazine.
  2.  
    I guess it's all subjective, but I'll be interested to know why they don't like it. This really is one of Wire's best albums—not just since the band reformed, but of the lot.
  3.  
    Yes, it's subjective. I often do not agree with the wire magazine reviews anyway, which is a shame considering they do cover most of my favorite music.
    In this case the review is not too negative, but also not too positive. What they don't like seems to be the production and in particular the vocal treatments, from what i can tell.
  4.  
    I've got the will power of a child, so I've listened to the longer clips on iTunes. The thing that hits me is how much it sounds like the period in which the ideas were originally conceived. I wouldn't expect anyone to be fooled into thinking that it was recorded in 1980, mind you, but it does feel like it slots in right after 154. A remarkable achievement if that impression holds up on a full and proper listen.
  5.  
    To my mind, it sort of feels like it fits in after 154 but it also feels like a logical progression from Red Barked Tree. I think part of the reason why it feels a little like the former is because the band is tight and strong again, with the best of songwriting from Colin, fantastic texts from Graham and top-notch music from everyone. (And as much as I loved Bruce's input to the band, it's pretty clear Mr Simms has a lot to bring to the party, as the special edition book makes even clearer.) However, as I've said here, the full album doesn't feel like an exercise in nostalgia or recycling—although some tracks are only very subtle rewordings (most obviously, Doubles & Trebles), many have taken the bare bones of a track and fleshed everything out to become truly first-rate Wire tunes. (As with RBT and, for that matter, 154, there's a lot of variety, too, which is great to see in a Wire record.)

    Again, I'm going to be very interested to see precisely why reviewers aren't excited by this record. With Object 47, that would have been understandable, but with Change Becomes Us, it'd be baffling.
  6.  
    Really? I would not have understood at all why [skilled, qualified] reviewers were not excited about Object 47. You said it yourself when the album came out: "It's the best thing Wire's done since the '70s, and it's a really good mix of modern production, 'Wire' song-writing, and varied tracks that build on what Wire's done since the very beginning. That's not to say it's perfect—I'm not entirely taken with a couple of tracks. However, there are at least three Wire classics within, and the majority of the other tracks are very good, too. Frankly, it'll be absurd if O47 doesn't review better than Send."

    I think it's incredible that Wire continues to push and yield fantastic results - and I have not heard anything from CBU yet, because I am an insufferable snob about streaming/download sound quality*, and want to hear it "right" the first time. However, I'll be the first to say "I find it better than Chairs Missing!" if it warrants it.

    But Wire, for me, is perpetually contextual. I didn't much agree with the sentiment that came up when RBT came out of "oh, why couldn't O47 been more like this one?", and I really don't agree that Bell/Cup should have been 4 guys, three guitars, and a drum kit, live direct-to-tape. In my mind all the albums are slotted in certain places and times - both my places/times and Wire's - and tend to comfortably remain there.

    With that in mind, for me none of them diminish in importance or quality (even The Drill, which I find the least interesting of the lot) because the new material is stronger, or better-engineered (don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled they moved away from the abrasive engineering of Send), or has new blood in the mix (Matt), etc. If anything, new albums get me to look backwards and re-evaluate a bit more carefully - I found myself quite taken with All Fours, for example, and clearly remember thinking "well, that's sorta Send-ish, maybe I should go over that album again..." As it turns out, the additional doors and windows into Wire provided by new work can often be rather revealing about previous material - and now perhaps more than ever due to the nature of the process on CBU.

    Not being combative, just curious about the tendency to look backwards warily.



    *Yes, I know the arguments for/against MP3/MP4/streaming/etc and sound quality. I've done my own evaluations and research, and made a decision I'm perfectly content with: no compression, please!

    (edited to change bad html tags)
  7.  
    Craig said: "To my mind, it sort of feels like it fits in after 154 but it also feels like a logical progression from Red Barked Tree."

    That's exactly how I've described it to others (and I think I may have said the same here): 154 via RBT. Given that the former is usually regarded as one of the inner circle great post-punk albums and the latter reviewed very well, if CBU doesn't impress then it's for reasons other than the music.
  8.  
    "Not being combative, just curious about the tendency to look backwards warily."

    From my standpoint, I think I at the time kind of convinced myself O47 was better than it was. This isn't revisionism, although I know it'll certainly read like it. But although not a bad album, it quickly fell out of my regular listen pile. By comparison, RBT hooked me from the very start, and CBU has even more so. Given that CBU also ticks so many boxes (not least being in part based on 'classic' era Wire), I'm curious to see how it'll be received.

    Having now seen The Wire's review, I'd take exception at the reviewer's main argument about a lack of variation in the album. In fact, that's almost an absurd criticism.
  9.  
    I agree with Craig.
    My knee-jerk reaction when Object 47 came out was 'another great album from Wire!'
    But with four or five years of hindsight I realised it wasn't the masterwork I craved it to be.
    The telling factor is how often I go back to O47 and listen to the record in its entirety. And I rarely do.
    With exception of Mekon Headman, All Fours and One Of Us, it fails to thrill me on a consistent level and it's definitely bottom of the league in the Wire Mark III cannon (and I include the snippets of Change Becomes Us that I've heard so far.).
    Having said that... sonically there's a lot of interesting stuff going on in Object 47, but the melodies could have been better (and fewer slower, draggy tracks).
    And always remember: an average Wire album wipes the floor with most bands' best output!
  10.  
    Thanks for the responses! I understand where you're both coming from.

    It has been different for me, I guess. I find myself softening my position on tracks/albums that didn't catch my ear at first, but it is harder for me to dig up an example of Wire material where my opinion has degraded to any degree - particularly relative to new work (though there are a couple of solo project examples I can think of that time has not been kind to).
  11.  
    There's no right or wrong when it comes to personal taste, 7jlong. The game's all about opinions and each person's viewpoint is as valid as the next pontificator.
    With regard to Wire – who are in my top five bands of all-time – I wish I could appreciate Object 47, The Drill and Manscape as much as I can wholeheartedly adore the first three albums, as well as A Bell Is A Cup..., Send and Red Barked Tree etc... but my receptors can't embrace them the same way...no matter how hard I try!
  12.  
    After hearing the clips it's pretty clear that this album if rife with vocal processing and I know that is going to turn a lot of people off. I don't love it but aesthetically it seems to work better on certain songs that others.

    I agree with the sentiment that Object 47 has not stood the test of time and in retrospect the album and tour caught Wire at sort of an awkward transitional phase. There are too many uneventful tracks like "Circumspect" and "Hard Currency" for such a short album. RBT (and the tour) is a much more assured and confident version of Wire.
  13.  
    I've also just listened to the clips on itunes. It's shaping up to be a belter of an album if these fragments are anything to go by.

    I'm not so much concerned by the treated vocals (if that is the case). My beef is with the over-loud distorted bass sound on most of the tracks... or is it just my headphones?!
  14.  
    "There's no right or wrong when it comes to personal taste, 7jlong. The game's all about opinions and each person's viewpoint is as valid as the next pontificator."

    Thanks. I mentioned that I wasn't trying to be combative, just curious; I said thank you for the responses and politely explained my own thoughts; I even made sure I inserted all sorts of qualifiers to make it clear I was only speaking my own mind and not for anyone else: "for me", "my position", "in my opinion", etc.

    But I'll keep it to myself from here on in. I try really, really hard to be flexible and open when discussing matters of personal opinion, but still I guess I deserve lectures on taste, the validity of personal opinion, and to be lumped in as a "pontificator".

    Awesome.
  15.  
    If it's any consolation 7jlong I've enjoyed reading your points. I especially agree with the "A Bell Is A Cup" assessment. Even though that album isn't my favorite production in the world I don't really go out of my way to question it or think about "what if's" if the album had been produced differently. The way I see it is if Wire wanted to make a different album at that point they would have so it's better to look at it as a snapshot of a particular period in the band's evolution and not as some mistake or misstep. It is what it is within that context.
  16.  
    "But I'll keep it to myself from here on in."

    I don't see why—I thought it was an interesting discussion. Everyone's taste is different, and yet, for whatever reason, a bunch of us are drawn to Wire and chatting on this wee forum.

    As for Bell, there are some aspects of it I'm not keen on these days, but I still love many of the songs, and it was also my first Wire album—my introduction to the band (along with the 7" of Ahead, which a friend had). I will admit that I'm enjoying compiling in iTunes 'alternative' takes on the first two ’80s Wire albums though!
  17.  
    I agree with Craig, its good to read a bit of conversational flow on the forum which has been deadly quiet during the past 12 months due to relative lack of Wire activity and I'm sure 'pontificactor' wasn't meant as a dig. I've been pontificating about Wire and many other subjects for years, long may we all pontificate!

    Interestingly, when Googling for reviews of the new LP I found a discussion of the new LP on this forum:

    http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/new-wire-album-change-becomes-us-march-2013.303341/page-3

    which I believe is a very popular US based music forum aimed at Hi Fi buffs/Audiophiles (of which I am not one). Obviously some Wire fans on there, who seem to be generally looking forward to the new LP (and none of the sharp-eared audiophiles has picked up on any possible autotuning interestingly enough)

    and interestingly someone comes up with an alternative track listing for O47. Not sure if it works but I definitely think 23 Years Too Late should have been on the LP, a great 'lost' Wire track:

    1. One Of Us - Ob47
    2. Circumspect - Ob47
    3. Mekon Headman - Ob47
    4. Perspex Icon - Ob47
    5. Four Long Years - Ob47
    6. Our Time - R&B03
    7. No Warning Sign - R&B03
    8. Desert Diving - R&B03
    9. Hard Currency - Ob47
    10. Patient Flees - Ob47
    11. Are You Ready? - Ob47
    12. 23 Years Too Late - R&B03
    13. All Fours - Ob47
  18.  
    Yikes! Please don't misinterpret my use of the word pontificator, 7jlong. I meant no offence. Pontificate means to be pompous and dogmatic, so I probably chose the wrong word. Sorry for that.

    But, as Craig and R Swimmer say, it's good to have debate about a band we all clearly love. And wouldn't it be a dull world if we all agreed with everything?

    PS I would happily consider myself a pontificator!!
  19.  
    I recently made up an ipod playlist with Read and Burn03 and Object 47 and it works brilliantly. I'm with you on that one mr swimmer. Read and Burn 03 is my personal favourite of that sequence of 'EPs'
  20.  
    Thank you for the comments re: my forum snit. Maybe I should stop posting on my lunch hour - too close to work aggravation.

    But really, I do in fact go overboard on the "for me" and "in my opinion" quite purposefully - for example, I may think that Ticking Mouth is one of the strongest tracks Wire ever cut, but I know that I'm likely in the minority on that one. So I'll always couch opinions. Definitive statements that are in fact nothing more than viewpoints make me queasy (e.g. "Everything after the first 3 sucks"), and they are great for starting needless arguments when a thoughtful debate would have sufficed.

    Long story short (too late), "pontificat[ing]" went right up my spine. I usually use it when referring to hipster doofuses at the local pub or record store who climb up on their soapboxes and loudly broadcast their inane views on vinyl, or Johnny Cash, or why "X" new band is the most original and wonderful creation since rock and roll (despite the fact that anyone with a working knowledge of music can piece together the three bands that the songwriters spent their childhoods listening to).

    All's well.