CLOSER, Joy Division's second and last studio album released two months after lead singer Ian Curtis hanged himself in his kitchen, has always remained resistant and inscrutable to me. None of the songs "pop" like say the amazing "Disorder" from Joy Division's first full-length, UNKNOWN PLEASURES. Nonetheless CLOSER is consistently rated at the same level or above UNKNOWN PLEASURES by rock critics. (Robert Christgau gives both albums an A-minus.) This week of immersed listening I finally figured it out. It took a beautiful sunny day of clear skies after a day or two of rain to get it, to understand all that darkness. The consistency of CLOSER is its key. The steady level. The steady state is all there is. That is the message. Dark and light, matter and spirit, void and substance, the charnel house and the maternity ward -- it is all the same on the astral plane. That is what CLOSER tells us. It took a walk in the solartopia of winter's end in the Pacific Northwest to figure it out, to see it. Check it out sometime soon.
The 2nd and final studio full length from post-punk, darkwave progenitors Joy Division. An amazing record that hints at what might have been, from one of the most influential bands in rock.
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