Top positive review
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Geldof plumbs the depths--with strange, rewarding results
on 14 October 2001
This album is unlike anything Geldof has done before. And its strangeness goes as deep as its greatness. Indeed, the two are conjoined. It is, at times a difficult album to listen to. But it rewards close and repeated listenings. There are layers. The whole thing has a dreamy (and sometimes phantasmagoric) quality that is at once contemporary and timeless. Many of the lines bring to mind strings of words that are with you early in the morning in a time when you are dealing with grief or tribulition--they don't quite make logical sense, but they make emotional sense. Geldof fearlessly puts this stuff out there for us. He rages, he ponders, he meditates, and, ultimately, he copes--before our very ears.
There are moments of stunning beauty in all of this. I've listened to the album 5 times since I got it and the song "10:15" has twice brought tears to my eyes. And I'm not a weeper. The song is almost embarassingly personal. And devestatingly beautiful. "Pale White Girls" is also fragile and lovely.
"$6,000,000 Loser" is not beautiful, but it is the kind of song you can't get out of your head. That you keep coming back to until you come to terms with it. It is the most stream-of-consciousness thing on the album.
The whole album is deeply felt, powerfuly realized, hard to listen to at times--but even harder to stop listening to. Finally, it is a healing piece of work for anyone who has been in the depths of despair and clawed their way out. It leaves no doubt that someone else knows how it all feels.