Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Recoil: subHuman

Recoil's fifth album, subHuman, sounds like music from another planet, so distant from current trends that it succeeds as wholly unpretentious. On the other hand, that planet is 1992, and former Depeche Mode keyboardist Alan Wilder has missed any advances that electronic music made in the interim. subHuman executes a few stalwart tricks of the genre: samples of Christian evangelists to support the album's political overtones, looped slide guitar and other live instruments for that faux-organic feel, and Enya-like female vocals. But subHuman's focal point is collaborator Joe Richardson, an Austin (by way of New Orleans) bluesman. His vocals and slide guitar on "Prey" and "Killing Ground" provide that common, ham-fisted trick of mixing a disparate, indigenous American folk genre with British electronic music. subHuman wouldn't be out of place quietly providing background music for a dip into Banana Republic, or as the soundtrack to an environmental documentary.


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