Another PiL album, another line-up. This time multi-instrumentalist Lu Edmonds of the Damned left the ranks. The rest of the group from Happy? remained and John Lydon put himself in the hands of two powerful producers, Stephen Hague and E.T. Thorngren. The result is PiL’s most radio-friendly album to date. Anyone listening to “Disappointed” and expecting the tonal challenges of Second Edition and The Flowers of Romance or even the dramatic angst of Album will be lulled into tranquility by the relatively easy listening/modern-rock circa 1989 sound. “Usls1” is a bizarre cross of Rush and the Police with its futuristic sounds and grand production. “Sand Castles In the Snow” sounds like Lydon has been club-hopping. “Worry” features more use of mechanical guitars and rushing synths. But while the sound is truly conventional throughout, the songs are extremely engaging. “Brave New World,” “Happy” and “Like That” are catchy tunes that any pop band would be proud to have. Who ever expected PiL to go pop?

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