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on 30 March 2013
The highest praise that can be given to a Wire album is to say it sounds like a Wire album and such is the case yet again. Change Becomes Us is the first album since the band's debut album, Pink Flag, with a new member, Matt Simms. In the mid-2000s, charter member and lead guitarist, Bruce Gilbert, left Wire. The next two albums were recorded with the remaining three original members: Colin Newman, Edvard Graham Lewis and Robert Grey. The first of these, Object 47, Wire sounded more like a Newman/Lewis collaboration than Wire. It was a fine album as a collaboration between those two meant a high quality album, but it was Red Barked Tree where the band truly returned to form, sounding more like Wire than they even did with Bruce Gilbert on board.

A bonus EP, given away with pre-orders of Red Barked Tree from Wire's website, was entitled Strays and it was a harbinger of what was yet to come. Not only did it gather 4 tracks, which in the main did not receive studio treatment until its release like Change Becomes Us, it also had for the first time, lead guitarist, Matt Simms playing along. Change Becomes Us picks up where Strays left off. Live material from 1979, which never saw the light of day as official studio releases, has been resurrected here as the source material for this new release. And like Strays, Matt Simms is present as the new and official lead guitarist.

Quite honestly, when I first heard about all of this, I was holding my breath. New old material? New guitarist? As it turned out, there was nothing to worry about. Being familiar with their older live material, there was indeed a familiarity with the tunes on this new album, but Wire has reinvented them into something completely new. Not for second does anything sound as if it is 35 years old. These refined songs are better than ever before and certainly sound as if they belong to the new millennium. Fortunate too, Matt Simms blends in seamlessly with the rest of the band. There are no extravagant lead guitar solos and that is a good thing. Simply stated, Simms sounds like the lead guitarist for Wire.

So change becomes Wire, and most importantly, this is another Wire album that sounds like Wire. I can highly recommend it to the seasoned listener and newcomers alike. Indeed, those new to Wire and not familiar with the source material would think it was it was written in 2013 because it is that new and fresh in sound.
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on 9 April 2013
I have followed Wire since the early days of 1977, seen them many times, including their 2000 concert at the South Bank when they reformed

This album is interesting it links 1979/1980 to 2013, the production is very good, much thought has gone into the guitar sound, Simm's being a great new input.

Red Barked Tree, Object 47 and Send are good albums, particularly Red Barked Tree, but Change Becomes Us really does take us back to their heady days of the late 70's and early 80's and is amplified and enhanced for the 2000's

Highly recommended album

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on 16 August 2016
Good old Wire making an impressive comeback in the last five years, very much a return to form and a refreshing update on their original monika. Nearly all really listenable tracks, quirky and committed playing as always
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A brilliant sparkling jewel previously lying within a glittering pool of other lost gems; glad that this has been hauled from yesteryear and given a cut glass polish. Each song has had an intricate rework to get those multi faceted tones sparkling and lilting into a darkness.

Elements of the past have been gently reworked over thirty years later, as those soothing harmonies ride on top of the trademark drilled guitar to pull the listener into their tumbling cadences of holes and warrens. Then each is gently smothered by the cooing observations of Colin Newman.

A double album of prickly psychedelia which provides a lilting lift to the summer air, as the lyrical observations capture observations viewed from a parapet as the world tumbles eventually into no mans land.
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on 12 June 2014
Wire defy the limit of being linked with an era. They were here, suddenly in the late 70's and sporadically since, with the line up morphed somewhat, but not drastically changed. The music on this album is excellent throughout, vocals non too removed from their earlier albums but a very good balanced listen from start to finish. As I said earlier, if you were to listen to this alongside some earlier albums (say "Ideal Copy") , it would be difficult to differentiate the age and era.The production and sounds on the earlier albums, still very modern sounding and on this the sound is stripped back by modern standards, giving a somewhat similar feel. Excellent!!
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on 4 November 2013
This is best recording they've made in years; even better than the Read/ Burn / Send albums and I thought those were good.
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on 29 March 2013
How long can they keep this up? Is there a duff Wire album? (Ideal Copy...not really).

The heights of Red Barked Tree are maintained; catchy, witty and smart. Matt Simms is a lucky lad to be a part of this but entirely at home.

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on 26 August 2013
This album is simply breathtaking.....the tracks that have always been some of my favorite Wire songs are given a revisiting that in almost every case improves upon the originals and certainly the versions available on Document and Eyewitness and elsewhere. Far from an exercise in nostalgia, this is a a reinvention of the band's history for which the only equivalent might be Laibach's recent revisiting of their earliest Rekapitulacja material. Wilson Neate's Read and Burn is a highly complementary reading choice but most of all it's great to revel in the wonderful transformations of tracks like 'Ally in Exile' into 'Doubles and Trebles' and so many more amazing reconfigurations.
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on 23 September 2013
While Wire had already showed promise with a clear increase in quality of their releases over the last two records, this is a very pleasant surprise. It is clearly superior to their previous records in all ways, both musically and lyrically and the quality of the recording is also improved. Some of the songs are really fantastic in my opinion. While it is clearly Wire material, some songs are even more joyful than usual. It is some ways also a more conventional record for a group like Wire. In my opinion, their best since 154, even maybe better.
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on 20 February 2015
If you love Wire, then buy this album,they are still producing glorious innovative music,it is wonderful.
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