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on 11 July 2000
Make no mistake, this is one DARK album! Having followed The The from their early days in the 1980s through to their last release several years ago, it came as quite a surprise to hear this album. Not quite what you'd call a triumphant comeback, more of an update on Matt Johnson's ever-downbeat state of mind (a situation which, in the past, has given rise to some of the 80's and 90's finest music). Struggles with paranoia, depression and addictions have made themselves evident on Naked Self in the sparseness of the production and the lack of accessibility (you won't find anything approaching a single anywhere here). However, repeated listenings open up the door a little and show that, if nothing else, Matt Johnson is a true original and ought to be praised for his uncompromising approach, particularly after being dropped by his previous record company and left to fend for himself. I expect further listens to bring increasing rewards and, who knows, maybe I'll end up thinking this is the best album he's ever done. However, for his next project, Matt should consider making something a little more upbeat or accessible (which is not to say mainstream), lest he repels even his die-hard fans. the previous The The album (discounting the Hanky Panky experiment) - released in 1996 - was called Dusk. I suppose it's only fitting that Dusk should be followed by such darkness. And after the darkness, what next? Let us await the dawn of a new day for The The.
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on 18 October 2000
after waiting a long time to hear something from Thethe since the fairly poor "Hanky Panky", i first listened to this release with some sceptacism. To my delight Matt has managed to get back to the fantasic writing we know him for. His melodies and lyrics are a another breath of fresh air from the fairly poor music scene at the moment. I advise a good helping of Jack Daniels and a warm dark place and enjoy along with this fantastic album.
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on 4 August 2002
This album emerged a couple of year ago. Johnson had ended his
long relationship with Sony and signed for Trent Reznor's Nothing
Records which itself was a tiny part of a multi-national.
The lyrical themes continue to hit the listener like a tonne
of lead, Boiling Point seeths with the rage of a million
commuters and Global Eyes is the ultimate disdainful cry
against a world which has sold its soul to the vanity of global
consumerism. One can't imagine the likes of Billy Bragg
with his cumbersome, crude Marxist blokeishness ever
coming up with this astringent diatribe.
Johnson continues to challenge his followers and the
casual listener, although, as this is hardly daytime
radio fodder, one could argue that his work is rarely
aired (which is a shame). Shrunken Man was issued as
a single: in fact, he encouraged other bands to have
a go with the song and so there are four versions of
it on the EP. Versions mind and not remixes as they've
each taken the song and added something of their sounds
to it. It's quite a fresh approach.
In a music world which is hell-bent on reconstructing
formulaic music for a Woolworth's market, Johnson
continues to be a beacon in a dark landscape.
Appropriate metaphor? Judge for yourself!
I await the next step eagerly. For those wishing for
a defintive appraisal of his former work, check out
the recent 45 RPM release. It's food for the mind,
body and spirit.
Al Ferrier
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on 15 June 2000
The songs on this record are sharper, harder, and more complex than The The's previous records. The vocals are sultry and hearty; the lyrics are (as always) provoking. This CD has restored my faith in today's music as it has the right combination of upbeat and mellow tracks for one to not get bored. I would recommend it for any listener who is tired of dance beats, rap, and girlie-folk. This is a fresh sound that incorporates a variety of guitar and drum sounds with amazing vocals. Thank you Mr. Johnson.
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on 2 April 2000
Just listening to the album for the first time and it deserves to be a hit. It's definitely the same band we've come to know and love, plus a rocky sound which should win him new fans too. And it wouldn't be The The if it wasn't just a tad pretentious.
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on 9 April 2000
The The's Naked Self is the latest album from an artist who began work in the cultural year zero of British punk at the tender age of 18. The album is partly a throwback to this earlier era- there are minimal effects and electronics, but instead a stripped-down sound which works extremely well on emotive tracks such as 'The Whisperers' and 'Phantom Walls', whilst sounding energetic and relevant on some of the harder-edged tracks such as 'Swine Fever'. People will like seeing Matt Johnson get to grips with a purer, heavier rock sound than much of his past work displayed. The lyrics, as ever, are angry, purposeful and poetic all at the same time. This is a great album, as is every album from The The. Why? Because it will take four or five listenings to get into it, but once that's done, you will be hooked. This is the beauty of what I would call 'proper' rock music- it is not immediate, like the Spice Girls or Oasis, but takes time to appreciate and as such, rewards you well. The The are one of the few bands to play such music. At the age of nearly 40, and faced with what many see a terminal decline in original popular music as we know it, Matt Johnson recognises how difficult it is to get record companies to push his particular brand of art which has graced the underground from 1980 to the present. Enjoy it while it lasts.
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on 6 February 2015
Matt Johnson and The The returns with this Nakedself where Matt sings often as a soul singer with a smile always on his lips. And meanwhile seeps into your psyche without you noticing. Winks at sounds of Styx, to industrial Pink Industry, rough rock, soul style like Lewis Taylor, psychedelic vibration that bring good luck to the Flaming Lips (Global eyes seems taken from The Soft
Bulletin), but all filters with acid guitars and hypnotic arrangements dark. In a festive day The The caring atmosphere seems joyful and locks herself in a closet dark, heated by a sacred flame. People's fear or love? Atypical rock tinged with madness suburban.
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on 12 March 2015
You'd never guess this album was recorded 15 years ago - I think there's nothing outdated here. I've always loved Mind Bomb and Dusk, but this is even better. It's darker and rougher, nice soundtrack for the state of the world today...
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on 20 November 2006
I have followed The The right from the beginning and loved all their music. They are what I would call priceless albums. The ones you know you can put on and enjoy all the tracks, without skipping to the ones you like, you can just let it play.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this one as it has been a while since the last album by quite a few years. Verdict, I have played it through about six times now and I think its ... BRILLIANT!!! Different to his other albums (they seem to mellow with age), offering something new like each of the others but this one is dark, brooding, sexy and makes the room buzz with the most haunting of melodic bass tones and back beats throughout all the songs. I just love it. If you love bass like that and like to 'feel' music then this is definitely one to switch off the lights and just listen. Thank you Matt Johnson, thank you The The... eagerly await the next album...

Vivienne Powers
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on 24 July 2014
His last album heavier than normal but still as good
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