Pere Ubu Lady From Shanghai

Pere Ubu Lady From Shanghai
7
Since their formation in the mid-'70s, Pere Ubu have been completely uncompromising musically, and even when they flirted with commercialism, it was always on their terms. It's only natural that this remains the case with 14th studio album Lady From Shanghai. Frontman David Thomas regards it as their attempt at dance music, but with its discordant clanging and creepy synthesizers, it's sometimes difficult to tell. There's an accompanying 100-page book, Chinese Whispers, which focuses on the unorthodox methodology used in recording the album, but even without that level of annotation it's obvious there was a great deal transpiring when Lady From Shanghai was recorded. Most of the songs have a feeling of uneasiness that likely came from being partly improvised, and on occasion, some tracks don't completely coalesce. Then again, that's nothing new — even the most straightforward tracks ("Mandy "and "Free White") possess a nightmarish quality, much like when the Residents try to go pop. At the end of the day, there's no need to say much more than this is Pere Ubu being Pere Ubu, and that makes it a great album. (Fire)