12 Songs, 51 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Assaultive and uncompromising, The Politics of Envy is very much in Mark Stewart’s tradition of musical provocation. His latest project is a scathing commentary on materialism, ecological collapse, and strangled rebellion, served up with the help of an all-star cast including poet Richard Hell, cult filmmaker Kenneth Anger (on theremin!), and members of The Slits, Primal Scream, and Massive Attack. Jamaican legend Lee “Scratch” Perry makes a standout appearance as a prophetic voice on “Gang War.” Beneath the seething surfaces of tracks like “Vanity Kills,” “Want," and “Codex” are layers of shifting synths, guitars, and programmed grooves, framing Stewart’s anguished shouts and conspiratorial whispers. “Baby Bourgeois” is a particularly bracing act of defiance. Stewart shows his ability to deliver body-grabbing dance tracks along with mind-opening rants on “Gustav Says” and “Stereotype,” the latter featuring Keith Levine’s incisive guitar work. Nobody will mistake The Politics of Envy for the feel-good album of 2012—but for those who like their politics radical and their beats relentless, Stewart’s latest isn't to be missed.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Assaultive and uncompromising, The Politics of Envy is very much in Mark Stewart’s tradition of musical provocation. His latest project is a scathing commentary on materialism, ecological collapse, and strangled rebellion, served up with the help of an all-star cast including poet Richard Hell, cult filmmaker Kenneth Anger (on theremin!), and members of The Slits, Primal Scream, and Massive Attack. Jamaican legend Lee “Scratch” Perry makes a standout appearance as a prophetic voice on “Gang War.” Beneath the seething surfaces of tracks like “Vanity Kills,” “Want," and “Codex” are layers of shifting synths, guitars, and programmed grooves, framing Stewart’s anguished shouts and conspiratorial whispers. “Baby Bourgeois” is a particularly bracing act of defiance. Stewart shows his ability to deliver body-grabbing dance tracks along with mind-opening rants on “Gustav Says” and “Stereotype,” the latter featuring Keith Levine’s incisive guitar work. Nobody will mistake The Politics of Envy for the feel-good album of 2012—but for those who like their politics radical and their beats relentless, Stewart’s latest isn't to be missed.

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