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Soul Mining (30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) [Dubbed From Disc]
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Performer Notes
  • The The: Matt Johnson (vocals, keyboards, percussion, loops); Anne Stephenson (violin); Martin McCarrick (cello); Paul Boyle (fiddle); Jools Holland (piano); Jools Holland (piano); Thomas Leer (synthesizer); Jeremy Meek, Camelle G. Hinds (bass); Andy Duncan, Zeke Manyika (drums); Jim Thirlwell (sticks & tins).
  • All tracks have been digitally remastered.
  • Three years after his debut album (BURNING BLUE SOUL released in 1981), Matt Johnson resurrected the name The The, under which he had recorded an early single called "Controversial Subject," and unleashed SOUL MINING on the world. This was a far more polished affair than its predecessor, and also a more powerful statement of purpose.
  • Johnson's mission is to explore the seedier underbelly of his own psyche, which is "crippled by guilt and blinded by sense" (according to the album's opening track). Elsewhere, he addresses everything that is wrong with society, from consumerism to easy morality, but never repetitively and always with a slinky hook (often provided by the bass guitar). Highlights include "Uncertain Smile," featuring a subtle string section and a prominent, barreling piano, the album's title track, with an eerie guitar line and pulsing xylophone, and all nine-and-a-half minutes of the disturbingly funky "Giant." The best track, however, is "This Is the Day," a deceptively cheerful sounding song, complete with accordion, that takes a lyric like "this is the day your life will surely change" and makes the listener aware that these changes are unlikely to be good ones.
Professional Reviews
Q (7/00, p.140) - Included in Q's "The Best Male Angst Albums Of All Time" - "Male Angst '80s style: electrofied and sprinkled with slap bass, but still striking....firmly founded in the male psyche..."
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