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5.0 out of 5 stars A monolith of creative darkness...,
This review is from: Mask (Audio CD)Bauhaus (and their lack of mainstream acceptance) is proof perfect that people prefer their music bland, mindless, and about ten years behind the times. Basically formed by art students who loved punk and Bowie in equal measure, Bauhaus was a ship with the perfect crew: the innovative Daniel Ash screaming guitar licks over the tribal rumble of the Haskins brothers, David J. and Kevin. And then there was Peter Murphy: an emaciated cross-dressing ghoul who twisted and writhed across the stage. His angular good looks and lunatic mannerisms swept those who saw them into the Love 'Em and Hate 'Em camps. I plant my flag in the former, and this album contains every reason why. While their first album is a ravaging classic that defined their unique sound and B&W 1920's aesthetic, "Mask" boasts some of their best tunes. "Hollow Hills", inspired by an Arthur Machen story that cautions those who would tamper with prehistoric sites and their invisible occupants, is Bauhaus at their most atmospheric and poetic. "Dancing" and "Of Lillies and Remains" (the first dealing with all the places one can dance, the second some kind of surreal snippet about ghosts, weird fluids leaking out of orifices, and someone named Clancy) show that the boys had an incredible sense of the absurd, "Muscle In Plastic" is a primal workout, "Hair of the Dog" is a grinding opener with a fantastically creative guitar line, and "The Passion of Lovers" is a Spanish-ish ode to lovers and their pursuit- death in each others arms. "In Fear of Fear" (like "Dancing") actually features Daniel Ash on saxophone, "Man with the X-Ray Eyes" slams forward like a rugby team of Neanderthals, and the title track is eerie and glorious (check out the video for it, if you can find "Shadow of Light"- nowhere is the band's horror movie sensibility more evident). The bonus tracks are interesting, especially the one in which Peter relates an unusual way of making fish cakes- stuffing the creatures with potatoes before smashing them up! Basically, this album shows that Bauhaus was a group of talented, creative guys that all shared a morbid sense of humor, a passion for the bizarre, but were in no way a contrived bunch of goth types. Those came later.
4.0 out of 5 stars Of teddybears and remains,
This review is from: Mask (Audio CD)This second album by Bauhaus continued the band's exploration of the gothic sensibility that they had so brilliantly pioneered on their debut. There is a definite effort to broaden their musical style with more explicit keyboard and synth experimentation. Amongst the best songs are the tracks Of Lilies And Remains, a type of spoken poem with nightmarish images over squeaking guitar, nervous drumming and spacious, evocative synths, and Kick In The Eye, a gripping ballad with hypnotically repetitive phrases over an atmospheric rock backing. The up-tempo track In Fear Of Fear has particularly impressive keyboard textures, whilst Hair Of The Dog is a great track with rousing vocals and Muscle In Plastic is a dissonant excursion with an almost funky undertone. Bauhaus is an acquired taste and I find Peter Murphy's solo work more accessible and appealing, but there is no question that they were a very inventive band that extended the boundaries of rock.
4.0 out of 5 stars Accessible is a relative term...thank goodness,
This review is from: Mask (Audio CD)A lot of reviews refer to Mask as Bauhaus's most "accessible" or "mainstream" album. And if you're looking at Bauhaus for the first time, hoping to buy an album that will give you better old-school Goth creds, maybe that will turn you off. But you have to keep in mind that this is, in fact, Bauhaus we're talking about. Mask is their most accessible and mainstream album in kind of the same way that I might say that Duran Duran's original album is their most Goth. It's kinda true in its way...but not really.
Try to imagine for just a fraction of a second a world in which you would hear the actual song "Mask" on the radio, and you'll see what I mean. Not gonna happen. It's much too full of eldritch noises and dark intellectual musing to get any airplay.
"Mask" is a personal favorite of mine; but if you're looking for the names that get bandied around more, check out "Passion of Lovers" and that pleasantly hostile paean to spiritual growth, "Kick in the Eye." Important to song cross-referencing, a favored pastime for Bauhaus and for Peter Murphy solo, is "The Man with X-Ray Eyes," which is the lyrical basis for the later "Departure."
5.0 out of 5 stars Cant go wrong with this album,
This review is from: Mask (Audio CD)Bauhaus again comes up with some more haunting tunes that will keep you on your feet. The best song on this one is "Hollow Hills"..love it!. Dont by pass this one, add it towards your collection today.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fishcakes,
This review is from: Mask (Audio CD)This album is a more accessible sibling to the all out intensity that was In The Flat Field. At times though the humour is even more sillier with Lillies and Remains which is as deadpan as it got. There's the track where they all get their go at writing something without seeing what the other did and this is where the hilarity kicks in. Listening to Peter Murphy tell you " this is how you make fishcakes" is possibly the most hilarious thing I've ever heard. Although there is one where I'm wondering if they were [messing with] the listener when they recorded the song Ear Wax. It sounds bloody scary and I wonder if they were doing this as a joke - the mind boggles
However if you enjoy serious music but can stand a joke or two then this is the album for you
4.0 out of 5 stars beautiful bauhaus...,
This review is from: Mask (Audio CD)the idea of sophomore jynx applies to this album. it think it is thier worst. which is fabulous because every other album they did was a god send. buy this one along with the others. the hair on the dog is a fabulous song. it even has david j screaming which is something you only hear twice, on that song and on the song spiked on sweet f.a., an album by love and rockets. it also features each member doing vocals, except daniel ash speaks backwards....
5.0 out of 5 stars "we're dancing to the dark side of this tune...",
This review is from: Mask (Audio CD)The 1981 effort of Bauhaus is truely amazing. It is the most "mainstream" Bauhaus record to date, but that doesnt mean in the least that it doesnt have its dark moments. (of course! It's Bauhaus!)
On this version of the LP you will find the 10 tracks that make up the original album "Mask". These are the first 10 tracks. These songs are all brilliant, but standouts (in my opinion) are Hair of the Dog, the Passion Of Lovers, the Man With the X-ray Eyes, the chilling Hollow Hills and title track Mask.
There are 5 bonus tracks on this CD, however, these tracks are nothing compared to the first 10. These tracks come from various singles and EPs released around the same time (ish) as Mask.
If you have just downloaded Bela Lugosi Is Dead and have decided it's time to buy your first Bauhaus CD, make Mask it. Buying the actual albums is a much better alternaltive than buying Crackle (the greatest hits CD) or the single collections. Collections like that may be of interest to you, but they do not provide the whallop that a full length Bauhaus CD will give you.
And if you are prepared to buy a couple of albums, put "Pornography" by The Cure and "The Downward Spiral" by Nine Inch Nails into your shopping cart right now too.
5.0 out of 5 stars This album is easier to get used to, but still complex,
This review is from: Mask (Audio CD)Because its the most mainstream, this is the Bauhaus album which took me the least time to get used to, which is handy as all Bauhaus takes a lot of getting used to, and if I hadn't realised how brilliant this album was just in time, I may never have got into Bauhaus to the extent that I did.
The track 'Kick In the Eye' is so manic, so full of little tunes and undercurrents that only get noticed many listens later that it is still a joy to listen to, 1000s repeats later. 'The Passion of Lovers' has so much subtle, sometimes nearly inperceptible choir backing vocalisations that add to the grand sinister feel of the song, in much the same way as acoustic affects litter the morbid soundscapes of 'Mask' and 'Hollow Hills.' To cut a long story short these songs are mainly intensely atmospheric for those who want to sit back listen passively, but their complexity also keeps the the avidly attentive, careful listner eternally occupied.
The only track which prompts the 'skip track' reflex is 'In Fear of Fear' which rather unfortunately sounds like a flock of Geese honking. Atmospheric, yes, but what kind of atmosphere do you want?
Once you get used to the style, Bauhaus is perfect for anyone!
4.0 out of 5 stars For gothic, death rock, and modern rock fans alike...,
This review is from: Mask (Audio CD)This runs a close second place, right behind "In The Flat Fields", as my favorite Bauhaus full-length release. As opposed to the sedate, laid-back later recordings, the abrasive earlier sounds had a distinct minimalism and primitive quality. Actually, if you listen closely in some places, you can imagine "Mask" as the missing link between the early edgy mysteriousness that gave Bauhaus their 'goth' tag and the later days of "The Sky's Gone Out" and "Burning Form The Inside". Why? Because Bauhaus seemed to be four contrasting individuals working against each other in a band, and in early recording, you could just about sense that they were each trying to be distinct individuals - not a working unit with a common goal - with each song. They seemed to progressively blend into a "band" with a common unifying goal by the end of their career, and, to me, that seems to be the reason that their sound changed so much. Specifically, "Mask" was the turning point. You can hear them becoming aware of (and more comfortable with) each others' talents and personalities. In retrospect, I think "Mask" artistically scores up there with the "Bela Lugosi's Dead" EP, the "...Fields" LP and the "4 A.D." EP. Songs that reinforced this are "Of Lilies And Remains", "Hollow Hills", "The Man With X-Ray Eyes", "Passion of Lovers" and the supreme title track. If you're into early Cure, Christian Death, the Sisters Of Mercy, or any gothic/death rock, you'll likely find something worthwhile here, since Bauhaus was definitely an influence on many of them.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Passion of Bauhaus,
This review is from: Mask (Audio CD)"Mask" is probably the quintessential Bauhaus studio (non-compilation) album, though "Burning From the Inside" is pure genius as well. "Mask" features many of their best known songs, including "The Passion of Lovers," "Kick In The Eye," "In Fear of Fear," and "Hollow Hills." Equally enjoyable are some of the lesser known tracks, such as the spoken word "Of Lillies and Remains" and the Cure-like "Man With The X-Ray Eyes." What raises "Mask" -- as well as the entire Bauhaus oeuvre -- so far above current Goth-type music is the variety. Whereas most post-Sisters of Mercy groups tend to be sonically monolithic, Bauhaus, inspired by Bowie, knows the value of shifting moods. There's darkness and gloom, for sure, but there's also dance grooves, dubby reggae, and yes, even some humor. Nowhere is the range of Bauhaus better demonstrated than on the bonus track "1. David Jay 2. Peter Murphy 3. Kevin Haskins 4. Daniel Ash", on which each member takes a lead turn. "Mask" isn't really the place to start -- get the sterling compilation "Crackle" as your first purchase -- but get this one next.
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