What else could follow an album called ''Peace & Love''
but one titled ''Hell's Ditch''? The two extremes are pretty compatible
in the Pogues' romantic/coarse, punk/Irish traditonal world. The theme of
this 13-track disc might be The Pogues Travel the World, Get Drunk, Have
Lots of Misadventures and Live to Tell the Tale. Right away, on ''The
Sunnyside of the Street,'' main singer-songwriter Shane MacGowan is
dishing up tales of drunken excess and disgust, while still claiming that
his walk on the wild side is just doing it his way. The melody is buoyant,
exuberant. The sordid qualities set in soon with the title track, about
prison rape, and ''Rain Street,''
an angry confessional plea. Once again, the Pogues live it up rough in the
lyrics, and more positively in the music; occasionally, as in the sweet
''Summer in Siam'' all is
really well. So, the disc isn't a total rant from the gutter MacGowan apparently
loves stumbling into. But you wish he'd crawl out of it enough to observe
more. Nevertheless, this remains a terrific, oddly uplifting, record.
|| Publication: The Boston Globe |
Date Printed: Thursday, November 22, 1990
By: Jim Sullivan, Globe Staff
Copyright 1990, The Boston
All rights reserved
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