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Das Capital - The Songwriting Genius of Luke Haines


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Product details

  • Audio CD (21 July 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hut
  • ASIN: B00009XG2O
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 142,938 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

A man whose reputation rests on a pathological lack of sentiment and loathing of hollow nostalgia, Luke Haines is not obviously suited to grand career retrospectives. Still, Das Capital is just that: the nastiest songs from his four Auteurs albums, two solo efforts and one release as Baader Meinhof. Of course, he's too perverse for a mere greatest hits compilation. The songs here are re-recorded, with bombastic orchestral arrangements placed behind Haines's voice, which is more sneering and vituperative than ever.

As an exercise in self-aggrandisement, both literal and ironic, Das Capital works brilliantly: Haines even contributes fulsome reviews of his back catalogue in the sleevenotes. Three new songs (notably "The Mitford Sisters") also suggest there's plenty of bad blood left in him yet. But the greatness of The Auteurs, and the reason why they were always superior to Haines's "pop" project Black Box Recorder, is that his songs are best suited to spindly, arthritic accompaniments: guitar, bass, drums, a distant creak of cello. Ultimately, Das Capital is a grandiose satire, an opulent folly, and an album whose primary use is to remind us of the excellence found on the original records by this most callous observer of English idiocies. --John Mulvey

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tony Floyd VINE VOICE on 28 Aug 2003
Format: Audio CD
Luke Haines reminds me of Kaa, the snake from The Jungle Book (I mean the Disney animated version), who sings ‘Trust in Me’ with menacing yet hypnotic sibilance. Haines too uses insidious melodies and his soothing yet vitriolic whispered tones, in his case to inject a strain of venom into the grotesque spectacle of modern life, where the shabby, second hand, crass, mediocre and stupid are celebrated and anything that smacks of intelligence or doubt or scepticism about the whole rank process is dismissed as killjoy miserabilism. This is no way to get on Top of The Pops and so Haines has remained, in the words of Kenneth Williams, a bit of a cult, releasing excellent, but commercially negligible, albums under various guises.
This latest collection, sadly, is unlikely to change this state of affairs with its re-recorded versions of old favourites interspersed with three new songs. There is also a not so secret ‘hidden track’ lurking at the beginning of the CD, comprising an introductory suite of even more old favourites from the Haines back catalogue. The up-dated settings coat the songs in candy-sweet strings (or “luxuriant orchestral delirium”) to provide a contrast to the acid rancour of the lyrics. Musically it wouldn’t be out of place on Radio 2 but lyrically it’s post-watershed (in an indefinably disturbing, rather than sweary Parental Advisory, way): perhaps queasy listening describes it best.
The new songs first, then: ‘Satan Wants Me’ is a lightning history of the various manifestations of the horned one in modern pop culture, from clownish disciples like Aleister Crowley to the Keanu Reeves/Al Pacino cult turkey The Devil’s Advocate.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "lost_lucan" on 1 Sep 2003
Format: Audio CD
Luke Haines has done it again - created yet another fresh and innovative album, bursting with his distinct originality and candid distain. It is thoroughly enjoyable to hear something which does not pander to the market demand for pre-packaged, digestable ditties but shines with sparkling, spiteful wit.
'Das Capitol' is composed pricipally of re-worked, or better yet re-discovered, songs from Haines' extensive back-catalogue, but they are far from pale shaddows of their former selves but grandoise, orchestral masterpieces. They are not just a more than welcome excuse to bring the songs to public attention, but actually map the change in culture that has taken place over the past decade, with the fashion tendinng towards bigger and better ideas with smaller accessories.
So this is more than an innovative greatest hits. The orchestra adds a fullness and lush quality to Haines' previous sparcity, and changes the emphasis of his message. This is necessary as Haines' albums all have a self-contained theme: class, fame, terrorism, nostalgia, and the various offings chosen for exhibition have to be melded into a cohesive whole to sit alongside one another comfortably.
The three new songs reveal that, unlike many other bands I grew up admiring, Haines has not lost his touch. This may be because Haines' interests change over time, so his lyrics are never stagnant. Nor are his vocals treated as a mere aspect to the musical mix, there solely from necessity. He has stuff to say, and it is worth hearing. 'The Mitford Sisters' is particulary good - did he know Diana would die so soon after its release? Prophetic.
Of course, as Haines says, this project was also conceived with the design of pointing out to people what is under their noses, and if it does that for even a handful of people, it will have been a worthwhile exercise. Buy this album - Luke Haines is not touted as the best lyricist in Britain for nothing. He is right - he is a genius.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "dan_halpin" on 30 Jan 2004
Format: Audio CD
the best songwritter in england, certainly of the nineties at least, compiles an album of his best work. he was really spoilt for choice. Haines has been labelled by many as the great "moaner", but unlike may prentitious artists he does it constructively and delives with wit and intelligence. highlights of the album? pretty much every track. the snarling vocals on tracks like "Lenny valentino" is a delight, and the simple rhythms match them perfectly. haines it seems is a very critical man and bitter about many aspects of British life, but it is very hard to criticise this album.
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