'By contrast with many of his peers, Farrell seems to have found a way out of the nihilistic cul-de-sac of grunge, and, just as important, found the most fascinating of musical routes'
Porno for Pyros, Good God's Urge, Warner Bros 9362-46172-2
Perhaps. "Kimberley Austin" is as pure and simple a statement of affection as any you'll hear all year, while "100 Ways" eavesdrops on romantic reverie, the singer noting how "Birds fall in love right above my head/ They make the same kind of sounds you do when we're laying in my bed." Elsewhere, there is evidence of a new spirit of worldly acceptance in Farrell, almost a Zen-like calm in the face of potential harm. In "Tahitian Moon", his boat capsizes and he starts swimming to the shore, blissfully disinterested in whether he makes it back and just at one with the water and the moon.
The stately portent of "Thick of it All" reminds us that, whatever happens, there is no easy route through it, and we should learn to live with it, though Farrell still manages to capture the predicament in the spikiest of terms: "You thought you were Jesus, but you find out you're the anti- Christ/ You were born so you get another chance."
It's a remarkable change of attitude for a former junkie whose last gossip- column appearances centred on a crack binge in a Hollywood motel. At the time, he seemed trapped in an inexorable downward spiral; here, by contrast with many of his peers, Farrell seems to have found a way out of the nihilistic cul-de-sac of grunge, and just as important, found the most fascinating of musical routes. Augmented in places by various Red Hot Chili Peppers, former Bauhaus boys and Minuteman Mike Watt, these Porno For Pyros have crafted the first really successful meeting of guitar-rock and sampler, devising a swirling, oceanic flux of sound mixed to achieve a tenuous balance between song structure and chaotic info-flow: a sort of post-mod prog-rock. There are still occasional remnants of Farrell's old sturdy petulance, especially in the splintery funk-metal of "Freeway" and "Dogs Rule the Night", but most of the album is suffused with a benign glow of well-being. Comeback of the year.
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Michelle Watt's father says TV presenter killed herself because she was in constant pain
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 4 North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
- 5 Greek debt crisis: The photograph that conveys the despair of Greece's elderly
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture