Pop: This Week's Album Releases - Public Image Ltd Plastic Box (Virgin)
Friday 26 February 1999
This four-CD set does, however, illustrate the classic trajectory of all rock groups, the way that inspired enthusiasm erodes over time into formulaic obligation - a process John Lydon satirised by recording 1984's dismal This Is What You Want... This Is What You Get album with session hacks.
Notwithstanding the later lapses into drab proto-grunge riffing, the demeanour is, for the most part, pleasingly prickly and abrasive - mostly courtesy of Lydon's voice, which remains impressively idiosyncratic. It's hard to think of another artist in any field (apart from maybe Francis Bacon) who has operated at such a pitch of aestheticised disgust for so long.
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