A blog post


Posted on the 07 June, 2012 at 7:28 pm Written by in Music

I don’t usually buy digital music (rather, analog LPs), but I make an exception in this case: World Party: Arkeology, a 5 CD box set with 70 songs and a booklet. I have ordered it.

World Party is about pop music, they are somewhat derivative, often poorly recorded, and so on, but I find them (or the band’s main man, Karl Wallinger) to be interesting and innovative, creating a cultural synthesis of pop music history.

To my mind, at his best, he is a master, re-recording classical pop sensibilities into the climate of the 80s and 90s.  This is when one famous power holder claimed that “there is no such thing as society”. World Party proves the opposite.

One can be comforted by Wallinger singing “what is love all about”,   but the listener is also constantly confronted and challenged. This is not just due to other songs and the context where the Beatles-like message of love is brought in and developed, but also by the way the music is presented and arranged. This is a “world party”, beyond Wallinger’s initial “private revolution”,  the title of the band’s ramshackle first album, mostly with Wallinger playing the instruments. Due to sometimes bad quality, or more likely, his opinions, Wallinger and World Party were controversial in the music press and general media, and never received full endorsement or recognition at the time.

Their unruly and questioning “striving for depth” factor is what, speaking just for myself, makes the music unusually interesting.Wallinger tries to walk in the tracks of the giants in the pop field. He wishes to lift the whole “pop” thing, which incidentally includes the “lower classes” too, up to a higher stage.

So what works, for some, as just middle of the road pop music, nice to play in the car, or even drivel – may yet reach quite a lot deeper, when one listens more. The poor recording quality is a shame throughout this band’s career.  Perhaps the new investment will help correct this, and increase the depth – we shall see, or rather, hear.