Meg Lee Chin

Piece and Love

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AllMusic Review by

Meg Lee Chin's contributions to recent incarnations of the anarchic and protean industrial supergroup Pigface were limited to a single track, "Nutopia." Yet, this track was so powerful that it became the focus of many critics' commentaries when it first appeared on A New High in Low. A revision of Allen Ginsberg's Howl for the age of late capitalism, "Nutopia" demanded attention for both its insightful and poetic lyrics and Chin's stunning voice, which moved fluidly from spoken word to haunting laments and fuming screams of frustration. On Piece and Love, Chin lives up to the promise of "Nutopia," demonstrating an even more impressive repertoire of vocals as she elaborates on the track's political themes, including seething, simmering frustration and the ironies of navigating a landscape cluttered with simulacra, in which reality is the domain of the delusional. Chin's poetics are particularly outstanding as political commentary because she recognizes her own complicity, an irony many musicians have yet to realize: For example, even as she laments in "Heavy Scene" that "a wall of crumpled nothing tumbles down till you surrender," she acknowledges that her own music plays a part in the process as she states "manmade machinery evolves and takes the stage." On every track including "Nutopia" (which is included on the album in the same form as it appeared on Pigface's A New High in Low), Chin's lyrics are complemented by a wall of danceable but thundering industrial beats, thanks in part to the production and writing contributions of fellow Pigface member and label owner Martin Atkins. In some cases the results are somewhat ironic: On "Heavy Scene," for example, listeners are encouraged to dance by playful internal rhymes and a relentless rhythm, even as Chin addresses an issue as powerful as drug-addicted mothers. Piece and Love is an outstanding addition to Invisible's catalog; aficionados of both danceable electronica (in the vein of My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult and Pigface tracks such as "Asphole") or politically radical industrial music will find Piece and Love a rewarding investment.

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