Easy Listening...


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Easy Listening... Review

by Bradley Torreano

In the past, Martin Atkins has used Pigface's revolving cast of musicians to cater to each other's strengths. In the process, this has de-emphasized album continuity in exchange for exciting collaborations. But on Easy Listening..., Atkins attempts to produce a cohesive Pigface record. Sadly, he achieves this by downplaying his collaborators' individuality, often sticking to a common industrial dance sound. Most of the guest musicians fill in the blanks on Atkins' soundscapes without even displaying their distinctive talents. The few times Atkins does stray from this formula, it produces the best results. These include the sensual and throbbing album opener "Mind Your Own Business," En Esch's dub 'n' bass contribution "Du Liebst Mich Nicht, Ich Lieb' Dich Nicht" and Rahul Sharma's psychedelic sitar exercise "Closer to Heaven." Ultimately, Atkins' new approach keeps the album from making broad stylistic leaps, but it also negates Pigface's strongest attribute. 1997's satisfying A New High in Low achieved a cohesive feel by keeping the lineup small and constant, but without sacrificing their collaborative nature. Without that spirit, Easy Listening... is nothing more than a safe, uneven record that borders on being a Martin Atkins solo project.

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