Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Pete Shelley ‎– Homosapien (1981)

Style: New Wave, Synth-pop
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Island Records, Polystar, Western Songs

01.   Homosapien
02.   Yesterday's Not Here
03.   I Generate A Feeling
04.   Keats Song
05.   Qu'est-Ce Que C'est Que Ça
06.   I Don't Know What It Is
07.   Guess I Must Have Been In Love With Myself
08.   Pusher Man
09.   Just One Of Those Affairs
10.   It's Hard Enough Knowing
11.   It's Hard Enough Knowing (Part 2)

Extra Tracks:
12.   Witness The Change / Maxine
13.   In Love With Somebody Else
14.   Homosapien (Dub)
15.   Witness The Change / I Don't Know What It Is (Dub Version)
16.   Love In Vain

Homosapien was a super-sad event upon its release in 1981. Buzzcocks fans were aware that the songs were originally intended for the band's fourth LP (even though some, such as the underground hit title track, had been composed before the band began) -- a new work that was set to continue the intriguing, strange, yet powerful and incredible direction the group had taken on side two of late-1979's A Different Kind of Tension, and its three (final) singles recorded in 1980. However, as Shelley settled into London's Genetic studios with producer Martin Rushent to demo these tunes, something unexpected happened. Shelley and Rushent fell in love with the cheesier, one-man-and-a-boop-beep-boop drum machine demos in a time when electro-pop disco was taking over. Tired of the group's sorry financial state, Shelley abruptly disbanded the band via an insensitive lawyers' letter mailed to his bandmates. Homosapien's release followed a few months later, before his fans' shock had dissipated. It can now be listened to in a different light than the inconsolably sad emotions that originally surrounded it. Despite the utterly ridiculous, aforementioned "drum" sound, it's the one Shelley solo effort worth investigating. Unlike XL1 and Heaven and the Sea, the wry, lovelorn pop songwriting inspiration is still with him. But more importantly, this is the only attempt by Shelley to retain the compressed, tight, hard production and vocals of his band work, despite the new genre and the predominance of a 12-string acoustic in favor of the old buzzsaw. More dance-pop than rock, Homosapien still straddles both fences enough to interest lovers of both genres. [Note: Five bonus tracks from XL1 are tacked on the Razor & Tie reissue, where the two Homosapien B-sides, "Keats' Song" and "Maxine," would have made more sense.]
Jack Rabid / AllMusic

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