The Fall CD review [Beggars Banquet]

Music Reviews
The Fall CD review [Beggars Banquet]
Jun 8, 2004, 21:13

THE FALL 50,000 Fall Fans Can't Be Wrong CD

For my money, the most exciting and enjoyable stuff from the mighty Fall was the stuff they basically made up on the fly. Probably, they didn't have the skill to play conventionally “right,” but had sufficient conceptual insight to realize that within that construct they could find liberation. They played what they wanted to hear and what they had the chops to achieve. At the same time they did have an unmistakable penchant for catchy tunes and rocking beats. The interaction between these impetuses created raw, visionary and actually irresistible music; bright, colorful songs, played crunchy, rough and with a current of indeterminacy that generated a sense of surprise that was mesmerizing.

Disc one of 50,000 Fall Fans Can't Be Wrong is jam packed with just that and produced by a succession of line-ups—singer/lyricist Mark E Smith being the only constant, AS HE STILL IS. So ye witness this jazz proceeding from its most frazzled and cacophonous stages to a more focused and sophisticated stasis and even that's still more bracing, brash and daring than 90% of any white rock-aligned music that's ever been.

On disc two the songwriting stays the same but the musicians are much more technically accomplished and inclined towards stylistic orthodoxy. This repertoire is still seemly but not as incendiary or innovative as the earlier material—though I don't doubt it'd freak the shit out of dullard fuckwits like Good Charlotte or Sum 41.

The Fall's stylistic praxis has been embraced by many exemplary combos over the years, Pavement, John Spencer's Blues Explosion and the White Stripes among them. All these have made this oeuvre more palatable still, but none a whit more puissant. [Beggars Banquet]

-Howard Wuelfing

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