The title of this fourteen track album is a quote from George W Bush, ‘so that we can see a reduction in death of young children that – a death that we can cure.’ Unsurprisingly it’s a political album, but not a partisan one. Porl King’s politics are firmly and genuinely humanitarian. Prescient too the title song mentions, “projects have crashed/ shares have all been cashed/ no need to watch our backs/ we’re protected by our class…”
everything falls apart is a modernised echo, perhaps unconscious, of W B Yeat’s poem “The Second Coming”, particularly ‘things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;/ Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,/ The blood-dimmed tide is loosed and everywhere/ The ceremony of innocence is drowned;/ The best lack all conviction, while the worst/ Are full of passionate intensity.’
we are happy the ‘are we happy’ refrain is like a nagging anxiety you suspect lies in the minds of those who wander malls in search of retail therapy and whether they blame themselves for not making themselves happy in the process. Or they so disconnected they cannot longer sense happy? Or is happy merely a goal that can be reached with a combination of Prozac and cognitive behavioural therapy if the aromatherapy and shopping don’t work?
Above all, Porl King understands music and knows when to apply drumbeats as a note of anxiety or to complement the melody. His lyrics have always been rhythmically succinct and audible, a crucial point as their message needs to be heard. Electronica usually conjures up 80s stalwarts such as OMD, Heaven 17, Bronski Beat or the Eurhythmics, but miserylab give it a very contemporary twist. a death that we can cure is structured so it rewards re-listening; it’s definitely not disposable pop. Its anti-consumerism is built to last. It should be, but won’t be, played at every shopping mall.