|The The - NakedSelf|
|Music Disc Reviews Audio CD|
|Written by Brian Kahn|
|Tuesday, 29 February 2000|
At first listen I found The the’s new album ‘Naked Self’ to be a bit too dark and dreary for my taste. After prolonged listening over several weeks, Naked Self's industrial style grew on me and I found myself reaching for the album more often. This is The the's first release on Trent Reznor's Nothing Records label. Naked Self was originally going to be the last album on The The's contract with Sony, but a dispute between the band and label ended the relationship prematurely.
Much like how Trent Reznor is essentially Nine Inch Nails, The the is comprised of one man, Matt Johnson so it’s not surprising that this album is a very personal reflection of the evolution in his life. Followers of The The will most likely remember the past albums were mainly synthesizer based in the typical eighties pop rock style. That sound is long gone here and has been replaced with a new rawness never before found in a The the album. Johnson made a conscious effort to leave the synthesizers behind and use a more stripped down and bare musical style. This is particularly fitting considering the album's title 'Naked Self' is also it's theme.
As the album title suggests the lyrics explore various intimate themes such as love, seclusion, happiness and religion. The music is strong enough to keep from being overpowered by the lyrics. The stripped down, non-synthesizer industrial rock has a strong edge that gives it enough strength to keep the album well balanced. In recent interviews, Johnson has expressed a desire to shed the frivolous distractions in life and proceed with what is important, that is well evidenced in his latest release 'Naked Self.'