Boy George

Cheapness and Beauty

(Virgin CDV 2780)

Nasty, brutish and lacking even the decency to be short, Cheapness and Beauty finds surveying the remnants of the Blitz generation from the lofty position of Survivor-in-Chief, dispensing blasts and blessings in terms which seem tendentiously black and white. Basically, if you're dead, like the "irreverent, so beautiful... disco monster terrorist" Leigh Bowery, you're a tragic loss; if, on the other hand, you're still alive, like "tragedy queen" Marilyn, you're a treacherous saddo. Or so it sometimes seems, in songs whose arrangements veer between grossly sentimental swamps of strings and grungy glam thrashes. The brittle musical tone matches memoirs that have the authentically bitchy tang of revenge about them, though the price paid for such authenticity is a diminution in the desire to ever hear about this shallow crew again. If you ever possessed such a desire in the first place.