Public Image Limited – “One Drop”

The first new Public Image Limited song in twenty years – a dub heavy track titled “One Drop” has hit the Internet this week. “One Drop” develops around a Metal Box-like guitar riff combined with 9 era lyrical approach. At times, the lyrical pattern mimics “Like That,” a track from the previously mentioned 9 album. Lydon talked about recording tracks for a new album in between PiL’s various tour dates, and one can hear the strain in Lydon’s vocals. There is certain tiredness, a passionate scratch in his voice that ultimate captures the slightly somber mood of the song.

In the past few tears or so, Lydon has been vocal about his pride and love for England. It seems as though “One Drop” is a reflection of his memories of growing up and around Finsbury Park. The track opens with the introduction, “I am John / And I was born in London / I am no vulture / This is my culture.” One wonders if the other tracks from the forthcoming album, This is PiL, is going to build around the theme of pride in country.

It’s great to see Lydon creating new material with PiL rather than rehashing Sex Pistols songs in stuffy arenas across the world. “One Drop” isn’t perfect. It feels as though Lydon didn’t truly utilize the talent he has with Smith, Edmonds and Firth, one of the strongest PiL lineups in decades. Also, Lydon’s trademark repetition of certain lyrics makes the song feel redundant and even boring. Sometimes silence in a song can be just as powerful as a lyric. This is something Lydon understood in his earlier years. Regardless, “One Drop” is a good start for PiL in 2012. God knows the track is better than anything one would hear on popular radio.

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February 16, 2012. Songs.

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