Wire - Object 47 (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Object 47 (2008)

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Post-punk pioneers Wire returned this July with their 47th recording, the aptly titled Object 47. The new record marks a subdued downturn in the band's style; somewhere along the line Wire morphed into frontman Colin Newman's other band, the more ethereal Githead. 154 aside, Wire has always had an edge to it, nearing an industrial curb-stomp on records like Send and Chairs Missing. While a handful of tracks come close to that dissonant style, like "Hand Currency" and album ender "All Fours," the record steers towards more of a mix of bass-heavy groovers ("One of Us") and burned out subtle jams ("Circumspect").

Object 47 has a very ethereal quality to it. It gets its rocking out of the way early on with catchy opener "One of Us," although "Hand Currency" and "All Fours" come close to that level of pep. For the most part, the record is breezy and easy on the ears, or at least as much as a Wire album can be. With nine songs totaling about 35 minutes, it's a quick ride as well. The interplay between the needling guitars and Newman's own otherworldy voice makes for a dreamy experience. And while the record bears a strong resemblance to Githead's own output, Object 47 is, compared to Wire's back catalog, a 180 degree turn. It's certainly more ambient than the recent Read and Burn 03 and Send records; perhaps it's the result of Newman consolidating his songwriting style. But it feels so much more layered. It's an effortless listen, but the vibe is psychedelic enough to offer more.

Either way, Object 47 is a decently entertaining record for the faithful, although those looking for a starting point would be better off checking out Wire's first three records or Githead's Art Pop.