Hugh Cornwell – Totem and TabooCultureMusicAlbum reviews
Best known as vocalist and guitarist for The Stranglers, Hugh Cornwell has an impressive discography of solo albums dating back to the late 80s, after the disbandment of the influential new-wave band.
His new album Totem and Taboo follows the success of previous solo releases such as Hooverdam, a confident studio album which was well received by critics and dedicated fans alike, continuing to show the ‘fiery elegance’ (classic rock) stereotypical of his song writing and in being generously available to download for free from his website.
For those not yet familiar with his newer work, it may be the perfect opportunity to acquaint yourself with Cornwell before his upcoming tour dates this October.
In a move that shows dedication to all fans, the early followers and the younger audience, his set to be performed at the London O2 Academy, Islington boasts two parts. One showcasing material from his new album, and the second performing tracks from The Stranglers’ seminal 1977 album No More Heroes, which existing fans (or readers of a certain age) will know features hits such as the titular No More Heroes and Something Better Change.
Hugh Cornwell has often described embarking on solo projects as akin to ‘spreading his wings’, having the freedom to take his music in new directions and achieving creative control. Totem and Taboo seems to be an extension of his original creative desires.
Writing in notes next to each song title, he describes his inspiration and intentions, giving us an insightful look into his creative process. He often seems to comment on today’s society or at least show the varied stimuli from his life which spark the beginnings of a song; tracks such as Daily Mail Land being inspired by (you guessed it) reading the newspaper and I Want One of Those being a song that came from his worry that ‘we’ve all become slaves to a consumer society and it’s spread into all aspects of our lives’.
Although clearly experimental in his new solo release, Cornwell’s distinctive vocal and lyrical talent is recognisable from his early fame with The Stranglers, strengthened by the ‘double-bill’ performance of old and new material in his autumn tour. As Hugh Cornwell ambitiously hopes to satisfy all his attending fans, it is guaranteed to be a satisfying gig for anyone.
Hugh Cornwell performs on the 19th October 2012 at the London O2 Academy Islington, doors open at 7pm
For further information or to book tickets click here