Pere Ubu

Worlds In Collision

unknown, 1991

On first listening, I felt that this album was a definite improvement over their last, the dreary "Cloudland". On further listening, I find that I was half right. The best songs here still have some of the unstable, lurching quality that made Ubu famous. "Turpentine!" is one of four songs that former member Allen Ravenstine appears on with his bleeping EML synthesizer, and it reminds me of a more polished Snakefinger (I wonder how much the presence of new keyboardist Eric Drew Feldman has to do with this). "Life of Reilly" could almost fit on one of the Pedestrians albums. At its worst, though, this album sounds like David Thomas and the Extremely Pedestrian -- Thomas' voice is a layer of weirdness spread thin on a huge normality sandwich, instead of a fundamenal part of the total strangeness; the songs develop predictably, go exactly where you'd expect them to. "Oh Catherine" is perhaps the worst offender in these categories, so if you heard it on your local "college rock" station and liked it, take the above with a large grain of salt. To vintage Ubu fans, though, I say stay away.

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