1990, Music

Life (1990) by Inspiral Carpets

Full disclosure: I listened to this on YouTube and two songs were missing. I don’t think those two songs would have changed my mind but you never know.

Sigh, madchester. Is it all the same? It sounds like it to me. I get that takes like this must drive fans mad. Because, I know, it doesn’t really all sound the same. This singer doesn’t sound like other madchester singers, for instance. But musically the spectrum is not very broad, right? There are tropes, is what I’m saying. And I don’t like them particularly.

The songs are, as usual for this genre, catchy enough. That is never my problem. I’ve never listened to these guys before but I find the songs catchy enough. And it’s possible that Hingley is an above average lyricist for the genre. I spend most of my time with these records being annoyed by the hype, rather than actually interrogating the lyrics. (I know, I know.) But I feel like Hingley’s lyrics irk me less than some of the other main lyricists of the genre. I don’t notice them but that’s good thing, I think. (Again, not a fair take. What I mean to say is that they’re not noticeably bad or problematic.)
The big difference for me between Inspiral Carpets and the other

madchester bands is that organ. A Hammond, if I’ve not mistaken. And that Hammond gives them a retro feel that the other bands don’t quite have. But it’s not a retro feel that saves the music for me. Most madchester bands are conventional British pop rock bands hiding behind the “dance fusion” thing by repeating musical phrases or using programming or samples. They are pretty conservative musically otherwise. And this organ just reveals the truth. At the end of the day this is just middle of the road rock music. That’s all madchester is.

As usual the production leaves a lot to be desired. Why do these “rock” bands insist on sounding like shit? I’d blame it on the era only I’ve heard plenty of good- and great-sounding records from the era. Wouldn’t the dance fusion thing work better if there was, you know, dynamism to the recording?

I do not like this genre.


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