4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Not for the faint of heart.,
This review is from: The Brightest Light (Ltd.Ed. 2cd) (Audio CD)
Well, this album has certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons, hasn't it? I haven't seen a new album from any artist for many a year that has polarised and divided it's audience quite like this new album from The Mission. The responses are extreme, no middle ground wherever you look. Nothing average about this album. It's either being loved or absolutely hated.
The Mission, or should I say Wayne Hussey in particular, has never played it safe, has he? Every album he releases regardless of whatever name he uses has been different. Why, in the last two years alone he has released Curios with Julianne Regan which was all glorious shiny techno pop and then the Ungodly Hour with Marcus Birro which was Swedish poetry set to home-grown acoustic blues & folk. And now the dirty rock of The Brightest Light. One thing is for sure and that is Hussey is a maverick and does divide opinion. He very rarely conforms to expectation.
And this is the problem with this album for a lot of people. It doesn't conform to what is expected of either Hussey or The newly reformed Mission with both Simon Hinkler and Craig Adams back in the ranks. it was always implausible to expect a new Carved In Sand or Children or God's Own Medicine.
Sure, I can see if you're a fan of Wasteland or Deliverance then this album is probably not for you. But, like anyone that has seen The Mission live will attest, they are first and foremost a rock band. A really f***** good one too. They always have been contrary to public and media preconceptions.
This is a great rock record, quite possibly their best ever and certainly one of the very best of the 2013 releases.
It's a proper grown up album made by blokes who are obviously enjoying what they do and feeling like they have nothing to prove. The playing is great throughout, the songs are classic and timeless, Hussey's vocals run from the whiskey and cigarette soaked voice on 'Ain't No Prayer' to the voice of an angel on 'Swan Song' to the crooner we all know he pines to be on 'Litany For The Faithful'. You almost get the feeling that he is playing a character like an actor when he's singing some of these songs which is something I've never really heard him do before. Hinkler's guitar playing is wonderful throughout contrary to what you may read in other reviews. This is an excellent album and I can't stop playing it.
Highlights for me are From The Oyster which is one of the loveliest songs ever written from a male point of view about the coming of age of a young girl to a woman matched by a beautiful guitar solo from Hinkler. I love the playfulness of Just Another Pawn and the lyric about Bowie & Morrissey is hilarious. Girl In A Fur Skin Rug is a very clever lyric about the culture clashes of the 60's and how by the end of that decade the utopian dream was over. This song is for eagle eyed scholars of rock history. And Swan Song which will undoubtedly go onto enjoy ecstatic reactions when they play it live which it has already done on their recent US tour by all accounts.
This could end up being The Mission's 'Dark Side Of The Moon' or 'OK Computer' or 'Disintegration' or their 'Let It Bleed'. It's too early to tell what this will do to the band but I for one hope that they will be encouraged by the extreme responses to the album rather than disheartened by some of the reviews I have read which have been severely vitriolic and spiteful. Please, Wayne, Craig, Simon, & Mike, keep on rocking! There isn't anyone else around quite like you and we need you.