The Auteurs, Baader Meinhof, Black Box Recorder, The English Travelling Wilburys, Luke Haines solo artiste — the vehicles which Haines has used to get his music out there each have their own character and their own aesthetic, but they all have a common thread. There is an acerbic critical wit at play in all the lyrics — a dissection of the culture which they also play tribute to. Haines looks both forwards and backwards in his work, more often than not simultaneously — using the contrasts and contradictions to throw new light on an idea, an image, or sometimes just a new way of thinking about a particular style of music. Thankfully he never becomes too bogged down in irony and cynicism to prevent him from creating something with a true emotional core. You can tell what he loves as much as what he hates, which is often the problem with people who put out that misanthropic vibe — they don’t seem to be for anything; they don’t belive in anything — they are only any good at tearing things down.
Like all great pop musicians worth their salt Haines ploughs his own furrow and stands somewhat alone. Unlike a lot of his contemporaries who seem to have gone off the boil, who have softened their outlook, let their art grow asfat around the middle as they themselves have — he seems like a, that scariest of phrases: tireless innovator. Innovation without purpose becomes self-indulgent wank, something Haines is definitely not guilty of. He never seems to have a moment where some project is not underway. Your record shelf needs at least one Luke Haines record — you could opt for Das Kapital
, a best of drawing from all of his incarnations, or Luke Haines Is Dead
, a more comprehensive set spread across three discs. You could always start at the beginning and work through and buy everything — it wouldn’t hurt; if your CD collection needs some new blood infused here is a good place to start.
Now playing: The Smiths – Sheila Take A Bow