Reason #240: Aural Sculpture
I’ve always loved the music of The Stranglers and have always considered them one of the great unheralded acts of the Late ‘70’s/early ‘80’s. Truth be told they are still putting out quality LP’s (check out Giants and Norfolk Coast in particular). But since I am a child of the 1980’s their albums from that era will always resonate with me. Some are better than others, and Aural Sculpture most definitely represents The Stranglers commercial, if not their artistic, peak. This was not my introduction to The Stranglers, but it was the first album of theirs I bought off the rack, and with my own money.
Gone is the misogyny, replaced by a whole bunch of perfect, breezy, definitely European pop songs. There were hits, too: Skin Deep, No Mercy, Let Me Down Easy are all terrific singles, and they are all sequenced on Side 1. Opener Ice Queen is a great way to start the record and it serves as kind of a taster for what to expect, or what not to expect, depending. If you come here looking for Peaches, Pt. II you’ll be sad, and you’ll cry.
It’s definitely not The Raven, but it’s a damn good Stranglers album, and arguably the last great one with original vocalist/guitarist Hugh Cornwell in the band.