Mind Bomb

The The

Epic Records, 1989


REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


When I was in college, I dated this girl who was very heavy into The The. And the greatest insult I ever made against her was declaring The The was "okay" when she played "Good Morning Beautiful" for me. Two things I learned: this relationship wasn't going to last much longer, and fans of Matt Johnson's work were almost fanatical in their devotion to The The.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Since then, I have developed a healthy respect - even a liking - for The The. And their third album Mind Bomb shows this band had some great potential - but when they were off, they sucked.

"Good Morning Beautiful" turned out to be an exceptional track, from the Islamic chants in the beginning to the building franticness of the song, Johnson and crew have created a tough standard for the rest of the album. The guitars of Johnny Marr (ex- of The Smiths) are sometimes hidden in the mix, which is a shame - he is a very good axeman.

The level of perfection is kept up throughout the entire first half of the album. "Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)" may shock some people with its content (was it this or the singular use of the word "fuck" that unfairly earned this one the dreaded warning sticker?), but is an entertaining song. "The Violence Of Truth" takes some time to get into, but also ranks among the better tracks. And the duet between Johnson and Sinead O'Connor, "Kingdom Of Rain," is simply amazing.

But this is where Mind Bomb slips. "The Beat(en) Generation" seems to fall apart from the beginning - the jazzy beat sounds out of place with The The's style on the rest of the album. "August & September" is average, while the final two tracks, "Gravitate To Me" and "Beyond Love," are both subpar.

So how does Mind Bomb stack up? To the diehard fan of The The, my mere suggestion of weakness is enough to string me up by my manhood. But to many people, The The is a group you have to warm up to.- it took a relationship to implode for me to learn the truth - but you have to sift through the bad tracks to get to the bad.

Mind Bomb is a great half-album. The rest - well, leaves much to be desired.

Rating: C+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1997 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Epic Records, and is used for informational purposes only.