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    I've grown to love all of the songs but the only song I am struggling with is "As We Go". I just think the re-make is a little too Wire-by-numbers and too similar to other songs from that era (and especially Colin's You, Me & Happy). The original version on T&S hints at a more sparse arrangement and I would've preferred to hear the song handled that way. Something about hearing a relentlessly chugging beat with the lyric "Sing and Dance as we go" feels a little too obvious to me. The song is missing that key element of tension.
    Funny, because that's probably by joint-favourite along with Magic Bullet. Mind you, 'You, Me & Happy' is one of my all-time favourite CN tracks, so perhaps that's part of it (although I'd not made that connection).
    The DiS review isn't entirely negative. It's a 6, but it reads like a 7!
    Re. As We Go

    "I just think the re-make is a little too Wire-by-numbers and too similar to other songs from that era.."

    I think that might be why I like it so much! I can take as much of that trippy ending as you can throw at me - it seems right in the overall context of the album.

    My daughter (age 10) gives CBU the big thumbs-up (and she definitely hasn't heard the source material). She hasn't yet dared to write a review though..
    "a bit like a Wire and Frampton Come Alive! recurring super group nightmare".
    At least The Quietus give a more balanced and considered review:
    Can anybody tell me why so much time, space and attention is given to reviews? I value the (very informed) opinions of the people who contribute to this forum. Isn't that enough? Why bother with what critics write or opine? Or could I be accused of being narrowminded for taking this stance? This is another reason why W Neate's book will be so welcomed - an intelligent critique of Wire, written by somebody who has insight, information but the ability to remain objective. I hope! We'll have to wait and read the book.
    I don't think it narrowminded. But if Wire are to survive in a commercial (i.e. financial) sense then they need as many positive and informed reviews as they can get. Not hack journalism.
    @Mark'em I am interested in what kind of reception Wire get outside the core fanbase gathered here, and certainly the positive reviews RBT got from Pitchfork et al certainly helped build a head of steam behind that record. We can of course all make our own minds up about the record, but I'd like it to get some thumbs up in the wider world as well. It deserves a wider audience.

    Although the music industry is a very differnt beast to the one that existed 20 years ago, press and reviews probably play an even bigger part. If anyone really wants to know whether they like the new Wire LP they can go and listen to it on Soundcloud right now. However there are hundreds of new releases vying for shorter attention spans ever day, and whether we like it or not the traditional press, Twitter, music blogs and so forth play a huge part in grabbing people's attention. Getting the word out that there's a new Wire LP out and getting people to listen to it, rather than the infinite choice of other music on the interwebs is half the battle.
    Agreed! Interestingly, Keith Moline's review in The Wire could certainly not be called hack (or hatchet) journalism and I originally thought he might have been making some valid points about CBU being 'safe' (no pun intended) or even (heaven forbid) 'slick'. However, that was before I heard it!! I can't empathise with his views now.
    • CommentAuthorSlim says...
    • (CommentTimeMar 21st 2013 edited)
    So to some it boils down to whether this is the reborn ghost of album #4 or a proper bona fide album #13. That's simple it's #13, if we didn't have the documents or eyewitnesses of the past lives of these songs then I doubt anybody would realise they have their roots in the late 70s.

    I didn't do any "revision" prior to getting my ears round this album in an attempt to keep some separation from what came before and it delivered on every level I would wish it too, it has strong melodies, some catchy Wire-esque choruses, interesting sounds that keep you interested. It sounds like now, it sounds like everything you'd want from a new Wire record.

    Now for what Mark E Smith called the "Look back bore" bit. Being a bit anal I made a playlist up to compare and contrast the D&E/T&S versions and I was surprised just how many of the tracks weren't that far removed from their parent songs, I didn't get that part from the first few listens, that was a nice surprise in many ways.

    I'd have this one question for Colin if I had the chance. Was it difficult to separate the Wire versions of songs he'd already reinterupted for his 80s solo stuff or was there enough time since then for that not to matter?

    Message to anybody not sure about this record, buy it!
    For me it's all just "stuff" :) - How you compare with the originals (or later re-interpretations) depends a lot on your viewpoint (as many here have said) - I'm very easy with "creative re-cycling". Wire discovered in 2000 with the historic set that the mere act of doing something in the present somehow makes it "contemporary", I remember the revelation of the time being that we played 70's & 80's material in the same set and it basically all sounded like Wire. Some of the material on CBU was in Wire's DNA so untangling what is Wire's and what belongs to "Not To" was not at all difficult.

    It is of course in human nature to try to make sense of the new & unfamiliar by finding touchstones with what is already extant. But it has to be said that, certainly from Wire's point of view, none of this material (with the possible exception of the original version of "Attractive Space" which was very poorly demoed) was ever consciously recorded by the band, not even for the purposes of documentation. That's what made this project so attractive to us. It's about taking the material (stuff) and making something from it. Just the same as we might do with any new set of songs.

    I think ultimately that what is unique about this album is that for the first time the process by which songs become pieces of Wire music is revealed, for those prepared to do a little digging. It's an inexact, organic process and not at all designed to please anyone apart from ourselves! If it comes out good then it's down to the collective will of the band to make it good.
    Having embarked on the project, during the process did you also think of the album standing on its own merits for the casual listener to enjoy? If so I believe you've succeeded admirably.
    "Can anybody tell me why so much time, space and attention is given to reviews? Why bother with what critics write or opine?"

    One word: Google. If people are looking for a review (and some will be), that DiS rubbish is first in the results. Another word: Metacritic. The more good reviews, the higher the album rank. I imagine most Wire fans will buy CBU anyway, but strong general word of mouth will also be beneficial to the band. What they don't need is idiot hacks trying to be clever and dismissing a record for spurious reasons.

    However, with the entire thing on Soundcloud and available digitally for a low price ($9.99 in the US; eight quid in the UK), I hope the openness of the modern digital era will convert into some sales for people who end up discovering such streams.
    Penny has just dropped on opening line of Stealth of the Stork/Witness to the Fact:

    "Feeling the strain but supporting the action"

    Kept nagging where I had heard it before and its also used on Dome's Say Again from their first album.
    Four star reviews for both album and book in the latest edition of Q magazine.
    "Feeling the strain but supporting the action"

    Kept nagging where I had heard it before and its also used on Dome's Say Again from their first album.

    Good call.
    Thanks to all who helped clarify my thinking re. reviews. I really hadn't considered the wider implications of negative publicity. Pity that there can't be a law against it - but that's the price we pay for living in one of the lands of free speech (?!).
    In the meantime, spare a thought for those of us who live far away from the capital. Enjoy yourselves this weekend! I'll be watching and waiting for the youtube clips.
    I have honestly never relied on reviews in any paper to cloud my own thoughts of any artists work. Sometimes the reviewer has no love of the type of music he/she is reviewing or they have some sort of grudge against said artist/s. If someone wants to rely on a critics take on any album, then to be honest, you have bought some piss Albums or missed out on some seminal music on the whim of a critic1
    I consider CBU to be a new Wire album as it is.

    Looking forward to tomorrw night.

    Looking forward to Sunday as well.
    Good 4/5 review as mentioned above in Q which describes CBU as "Violent unusual, yet deadly mixture of menace, sarcasm and Pop..on this career highlight". That's more like it!