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Sunday, September 4, 2016

Joy Division: Closer (IAS #36)

A real challenge to write about albums like these, but here goes nothing:

Joy Division: Closer


  1. Great review, George! Man, these IAS reviews just get better. I start looking forward to them at least a half-week before they're due!
    The comment at the end re: this Curtis album following the Cobain one was interesting. The RYM rankings definitely do seem overpopulated with dead (or at least horrifically depressed and/or reclusive) white men, and while the modes of getting this across are varied, the effect does seem the same! I wonder when Elliott Smith will pop up? I'd love to hear your take on his music - what with that beautiful melodicism contrasting w/ the occasional drifting into hookless meandering...

  2. Great review, indeed: deep, understanding, meticulous. Closer is one of my all-time favorites, so I was ready to find out something to debate with, but, frankly, I almost agree with all the points of the prosecution part.

    By the way, I once read in Q magazine that the name of the album should be pronounced as Clozer, meaning the final one, the closing one. Still don't know whether it's true or not.

    1. I never read it in any different way

    2. Well, I don't know, people tend to think that it's got something to do with death or something, like, you know, closer to death, closer to the other side, closer to the unknown.

    3. The final one wouldnt be that less morbid isnt it?

  3. I had expected you to be much harsher on the album. Did you grow to appreciate it more? Funny all items get a thumbs up except for the production. On the one hand i can see why, on the other hand i cannot imagine the album being as good wothout this production. Its extremely fitting.

    The review shouldve contained a reference to the live reputation of JD though other than the refeence to the bad sound quality of the attached EP. Les bain douhez live album shows what a great and hard rocking live band they were, which goves the songs a different feeling again.

  4. The reliance on excessive reverb was a bold production choice that had very little to do with what these guys must have been like live. I respect that for it's more-alienating-than-punk value, but I also hate that because there's obviously so much more going on with these guys. Too bad there's no "Live at Leeds" quality recording for JD.

    For me, JD's albums have been purely headphonic affairs. Only because that's how I encountered them: in college, drenched in metaphysics & old literature, stoned out of my mind, with headphones cranked well beyond eardrum damaging levels (like when the cans vacuum-suck over your ears and have to be pried off with your fingers to break the seal). The reverb is so relentless, so internally transporting and perfect, that hearing JD any other way just doesn't cut it for me now--no matter how great the speakers are--and every negative criticism about the production quality makes perfect sense. But oh, the places they did go with it; the price of admission was a turntable, an amplifier, quality headphones, and ever-lasting tinnitus. Worth it, if you ask me (just ask LOUDLY, and into my good ear).