What a title! You have to admit that warrants
admiration alone. It's somehow like the flip side to Music
Has the Right to Children by Boards
of Canada which
is apt, because so is the music.
Over 25 years in the business is enough to bestow legendary
status on anyone. British and Dutch act The Legendary Pink
Dots passed that landmark recently. This was their anniversary
release and it was a good effort too. In fact, Edward Ka-Spel
should probably be made some kind of National Treasure. Shouldn't
there be some kind of Heritage legislation passed to simply
let this man be? Let him carry on doing this stuff. I can easily
imagine him doing so well beyond my retirement. As such I look
forward to the day, sitting in my bath chair, I can shakily
press 'play' on my remote and then maniacally hold the gaze
of my terrified grandchildren as the new LPD album crawls out
of my speakers.
Always tough to genre label, the LPD flit somewhere between
industrial abstraction and psychic, avant-garde rock. Weird
and disturbing? Yes they are a bit. It all depends on your
outlook. I mean, even a traffic light can look sinister in
a Lynch movie, right? The Residents, fronted by Syd Barrett
and reading from H.P. Lovecraft might give newcomers a hint
of what to expect. The LPD arrangements combined with Edward
Ka-Spels atonal, monologue style have always divided audiences.
Some have never penetrated the sense of unease that surrounds
most LPD tracks. More often than not, this is a pity as within
these pieces can be found a great deal of humour, touching
sentiment, and sage political outlook.
Listening to Your Children Will Placate You From Early
the effect can be somewhat akin to entering an empty Victorian
child's bedroom by candlelight. Maybe you think the crib looks
sinister? Is that china doll looking at you? Did the rocking
horse just move? The truth is the room is just full of toys
but the effect can be quite eerie, if you let it. That's a
Legendary Pink Dots album!
The subtlety and restraint within LPD compositions only heightens
the feeling of foreboding. Other so-called "Industrial" acts
can lay it on rather too thick. The effect is something like
a clumsy horror flick. There is far more intelligence to LPD
work. Ka-Spel may be infatuated with gloomier subject matter,
but the wit and sheer word-smithery of the man win the day.
As a narrator of the human condition, he is almost without
Short, sharp and cohesive, this is arguably their real follow
up to All the Kings Men. Or perhaps a fusion
between that album and older oddity Malachai?
For LPD fans, you'll buy this anyway and be pleased, I have
no doubt. The curious will find this a great introduction.
I think the title must allude to a hope for benediction from
future generations. Forgiveness, perhaps, for the state of
the planet we're ostensibly handing over?
Expect: creepy ambience and whimsical, yet thought-provoking monologues.
Don't expect: dry palms throughout. Or tunes.
Wanna see something really scary? Headphones, at night, in the dark,… alone. I dare you.