Bob Mould – Body of Song (2005)

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by Tom Johnson

As a follow-up to the more electronic, experimental, but ultimately disappointing Modulate, 2005’s Body of Song was an overwhelming success.

As a new addition to his strong catalog (including Husker Du, Sugar, and his other solo material), it will probably depend on what era of Mould you like. Those looking for a Sugar fix were likely a little disappointed: Very little of this album contained the pop buzz Sugar was so good at. At the same time, those looking for follow-ups to his first two, more stripped-down solo albums Black Sheets of Rain and Workbook needed some time to adjust, too — less so than the Sugar-enthusiasts, however.

Where this album showed the most similarities is with Mould’s post-Sugar solo output, tempering the excessive, naive electronics of Modulate with Mould’s signature razor-sharp guitar. His skills with programming had developed quite well, and there was very little of the awkward, pre-programmed feeling that came before.

What you got was an album of guitar rock with a techno edge — nothing new in the music world, but Mould’s particular spin on this style was something new and interesting to listen to. While some may have balked at his occasional use of the now-cliche vocoder effect that Cher made popular again with “Believe,” if you can listen past it, the songs are as strong as Mould’s work is always known for.

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Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson has contributed to Blogcritics, and maintained a series of stand-alone sites including Known Johnson, Everything is a Mess and others. He studied both creative writing and then studio art at Arizona State. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Tom Johnson
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