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CD: Peter Perrett - Humanworld | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Peter Perrett - Humanworld

CD: Peter Perrett - Humanworld

A powerful second album confirms The Only Ones' singer's surprising resurrection

June 2017 witnessed a musical miracle, of sorts – the resurrection to recording and brilliant songwriting of Peter Perrett, The Only Ones’ singer, songwriter, and architect of his own ghoulish entombment in a Gothic south east London pile, fielding serious addictions for decades and emerging only briefly in 1996 for his excellent Woke Up Sticky album, and the publication of Nina Antonia’s biography One & Only, for whose launch he performed in the basement of Helter Skelter on Denmark Street with Only Ones guitarist John Perry. His sons also played, as a duo called The Kuntz, “because that’s what Dad calls us”.

His sons’ band Strangefruit supported Perrett on his remarkable 2017 comeback with How the West Was Won, his first solo album with Domino Records, his first release in 21 years, and his first as a sober human being. Two years on comes Humanworld. Sons Jamie and Peter Jr once again handle the guitar and bass, with drummer Jake Woodward, keyboardist Lauren Moon, and Jenny Maxwell on synths and a richly toned viola redolent of Scarlet Rivera’s work on Dylan’s Desire.

It’s very recognisably Perrett, whose talent has not only survived the decades of wastage, but honed and sharpened itself on the singer’s singular life experience and continued ability to get lost in himself, and in Humanworld’s case, to love, for songs such as ‘Love Comes on Silent Feet’, ‘The Power Is In You’ and ‘Walking In Berlin’ are tender words over raw wounds, set to pretty melodies. ‘Heavenly Day’, in particular, has the ambience and gritty sentimentality of Lou Reed’s similarly-titled paean.

He retains the poetic precision, sharp phrasing and classic English punk/new wave rocker delivery of his youth, many of songs dressed in impeccable New Wave late Seventies threads. His son Jamie’s song, ‘Master of Destruction’, is an excellent facsimile of his father’s songcraft, and the closing ‘Carousel’ is astringently bittersweet – powerful, pained and true. Humanworld is proof positive that new songs from Peter Perrett are worth listening to.

His talent has not only survived the decades of wastage, but honed and sharpened itself

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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