Album Reviews - Reviews

Planningtorock – All Love’s Legal


All Love’s Legal is the latest release from the Berlin-based Planningtorock, her first since 2011’s W. Owing as much to the likes of Burial and Brian Eno as her label mates from DFA, All Love’s Legal is a musically fascinating album. It’s a great example of late night music; the party has died down, but you don’t want to night to end just yet. Voices are heavily distorted and unearthly, the beats are distant and everything just seems to be filtered through the haze of intense lights, strong booze and cheap drugs. We are giddily lost within the post-club confusion. The music crafted by Planningtorock to accompany us is at times quite brilliant.

Every song is founded on a solid bedrock; the beats are moody, atmospheric and varied. The ethereal grace of the likes of ‘Welcome’, ‘Answer Land’ and ‘Steps’ are offset by the likes of the pulsating and potent ‘Public Love’ and album highlight, ‘Human Drama’. Another point in the album’s favour is the level of cohesion throughout. This is an album which is a singular piece made up of a collection of songs about a singular idea. In this case, the album acts as mediation on sexuality and gender. It is refreshing to see an artist make an album with a clear thought process in mind. It makes the experience substantially more rewarding and, despite the album’s myriad of other flaws, this is an aspect that should be commended. But this is a not a good record.

Special note should be given to ‘Misogyny Drop Dead’, though, which currently occupies the slot for my choice of the year’s worst song; a solid bass line which is just defiled by a techno equivalent of Alvin and the Chipmunks howling over the top loaded with asinine warbling. Lyrically, this album is atrocious; a lot of these songs would work better as instrumentals. The sentiment of the album is admirable, but if you give it any real thought it crumbles pretty spectacularly. The whole piece is just poorly thought out with too many of the lyrics coming across as nonsensical. They mostly just amount to a collection of tangentially connected inanities that vary between rejected lyrics from an upcoming pro-LGBT Katy Perry track and a bunch of hash tags: #MisogynyDropDead, #GenderIsALie and #BeyondBinaryBonds.

The more time you spend in the company of the album, the more apparent it becomes that nothing of note has been said, except for recycled, poorly thought out slogans for feminist blogs. There is a lot of talking here, but nothing is really being said. With its obsession with sexuality, love of sloganeering and inability to say really anything of note, the record boils down to Tumblr: The Album. Will Murphy