Baader Meinhof


Product Description
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Baader Meinhof includes: Luke Haines (vocals).
  • Personnel: Luke Haines (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Justine Armitage (violin); James Banbury, Andy Nice (cello); Phil Vinall (keyboards); Gary Strasbourg (drums); Kuljit Bhamra (tabla, percussion).
  • Liner Note Author: Luke Haines.
  • With Baader Meinhof, Luke Haines, frontman of the Auteurs, experimented with a more aggressive, political style of music. The tone of the music, with fuzzy yet harsh guitars and assaulting keyboards, is at once crude-sounding, over-produced (in the best way), and decidedly pop-oriented. It's hard to say exactly what Haines is protesting, but rest assured that it's something quite artsy. One thing that's certain is that he has some fascination with the German terrorist group from which the band, the album, and two songs herein take their names. Like Haines' work with Black Box Recorder, there is a pretentious quality to most of the songs, which actually ends up being quite endearing. Singing leftist lyrics over perpetually distorted instruments on "Meet Me at the Airport" and "Theme From 'Burn Warehouse Burn,'" Haines and company have created confused sociopolitical statements that are never less than keenly interesting. "There's Gonna Be an Accident" mixes strings with breathy vocals and more terrorist lyrics towards a fun, funky goal. The overall feel of the album is of a crunchy, finely arranged series of art attacks. As a side project of the Auteurs, Baader Meinhof seems to work as a minimal, pop ode to free will, whether the socialist views are simply affectations or truly felt. Though Haines is sometimes criticized as being a lightweight because of his pop leanings, these ten appealing songs clearly promote the artist as an accomplished, underrated songwriter. Invoking alternative worldviews instead of the ennui of Black Box Recorder, this piece is quite accessible and full of pop gems, despite or because of the politics inside the tunes. [Simultaneously reissued with the Auteurs' New Wave, the 2014 remastered version adds a handful of negligible bonus tracks and features liner notes from Haines.] ~ Tim DiGravina
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (3/20/97, p.86) - 3 Stars (out of 5) - "...broken funk, Middle Eastern string sections and cheesy blaxploitation synth sounds. All of this is allied to part sinister, part tongue-in-cheek lyrics..."

Spin (1/98, p.88) - Included on Spin's list of "Unheard Music." - "...don't call it a Britpop teenage riot. It's just hate's underside--bad-acid voodoo paranoia, ominous squonking, ill troublefunk, ruined guitars, tablas and cellos..."

Option (9-10/97, p.84) - "...some oddly inviting tracks that have a kind of low-key, understated appeal....Despite the fact that there's not quite as much deep thinking here as [leader Luke] Haines seems to assume, there's actually quite a bit of good listening."
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