£1.99 for one of the best CDs of the 1980's. No brainer.
Three years after his debut album (BURNING BLUE SOUL released in 1981), Matt Johnson resurrected the name The The, under which he had recorded an early single called "Controversial Subject", and unleashed SOUL MINING on the world. This was a far more polished affair than its predecessor, and also a more powerful statement of purpose.
Johnson's mission is to explore the seedier underbelly of his own psyche, which is "crippled by guilt and blinded by sense" (according to the album's opening track). Elsewhere, he addresses everything that is wrong with society, from consumerism to easy morality, but never repetitively and always with a slinky hook (often provided by the bass guitar). Highlights include "Uncertain Smile", featuring a subtle string section and a prominent, barreling piano, the album's title track, with an eerie guitar line and pulsing xylophone, and all nine-and-a-half minutes of the disturbingly funky "Giant". The best track, however, is "This Is the Day", a deceptively cheerful sounding song, complete with accordion, that takes a lyric like "this is the day your life will surely change" and makes the listener aware that these changes are unlikely to be good ones.
1. I've Been Waiting For Tomorrow (All Of My Life)
2. This Is The Day
3. Sinking Feeling
4. Uncertain Smile
5. Twilight Hour
6. Soul Mining