Sound, The / All Fall Down
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At the time their third album was released, The Sound was one of the UK’s most acclaimed bands and were on the precipice of a commercial breakthrough. Having been upgraded from the Korova label (also home to Echo & the Bunnymen) to Warner Bros., the group was met with label demands to deliver a more commercial release. In what many consider to be a willfully defiant move, The Sound delivered the challenging and more experimental All Fall Down, a record many of their most ardent fans still consider their most accomplished. It remains one of the great post-punk albums of the early ’80s. The logical progression from the band’s previous work, the seminal From the Lions Mouth, All Fall Down unfolds slowly and rewards patience. Each song’s power is augmented by the ones around it. Highlights include the upbeat “Calling the New Tune” and “Party of the Mind,” the melancholy “We Could Go Far” and the dissonance and bleakness of “Glass and Smoke.” The aura of Adrian Borland’s well-documented mental illness gives many of the songs a sinister edge. All Fall Down has proved itself over time to be an essential album—it is a timeless, modern record that still sounds fresh, and its high points match anything else in the group’s canon.