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CD review: ‘We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves’

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John Maus
We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves
three and a half stars

Imagine if Ian Curtis had lived to front New Order ... and recorded the songs in his bedroom. That’s kinda what the new album by philosophy professor-cum-lo-fi electro artist John Maus sounds like. Maus has crafted some undeniably catchy compositions here, a click or two to the ambient side of dance, and topped them with his strange baritone—murky yet alluring vocals that leave the listener straining for specifics. When it works, as with gauzy ballad “Hey Moon” (the tune that’ll catch John Hughes’ ear from the great beyond if anything ever does), the chilling, post-Ice T “Cop Killer” or chirpy, coulda-been club contenders like “…And the Rain” and “Keep Pushing On,” it’s yet another indictment on the foolish studio spending of major label years gone by. When it doesn’t (see: the flatly robotic “Matter of Fact”), even the staunchest Ariel Pink devotee might yearn for Mutt Lange.

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Spencer Patterson

Spencer Patterson is the Editor of Las Vegas Weekly, having previously served as Managing Editor, Arts & Entertainment Editor and ...

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