Context – still stuck on Minimalism
I love to hate on this trend, y’all. I mean I’m all for decluttering or whatever, but especially with the “new” wave of “minimalism can be whatever you want it to be!” participants I think it’s safe to say the movement has lost it’s meaning or momentum. Like Organic Food or the cardio vs core workout debate.
Keeping up with the theme of haterade, I’m going to get this out of the way: Joy Division would be a better band without Ian Curtis. No disrespect to the dead intended.
I get that he’s a big deal in the post-punk scene. I get that his suicide was a tragedy to the scene and music in general. I get that he inspired generations of future musicians to pursue their dreams.
But you know what’s better than listening to Ian Curtis sing? The Thursday song “Ian Curtis”.
I really like “Love Will Tear Us Apart” and I really like the parts of Joy Division where Ian isn’t singing. But then he starts singing and all I can think about is the headache that’s forming at my eye-brow ridge from frowning in disapproval.
Maybe it’s in the lyrics and there’s a Dylan or Cohen thing going on, where the message and lyricism transcends delivery and the poetry of the soul ignites the passions of thousands of people who were previously sleeping on their creative potential and will to survive. I didn’t much listen to the lyrics with this being a first listen and all that, but they didn’t blow me away or grab my attention, either.
Which is a shame, because I really really like the parts of Joy Division that I like. Maybe it’s that Les Bains Douches is a live album that mixes his vocals weird and puts them too much in front. I remember other recordings of “Love Will Tear Us Apart” being less focused on Ian Curtis’s delivery, letting his monotone drone wash into the ambiance of the rest of the band’s performance.
Or maybe I’m too mad at stupid questions on /r/Minimalism to think straight and it’s clouding my judgement of an otherwise stellar musical act. So much of my emo heritage owes debts upon debts to Ian Curtis, or so their liner notes and list of influences lead me to believe.
But I still think Joy Division would be better without Ian Curtis. Or at least without Ian Curtis singing.