Before and after the Riot

By CHARLES TAYLOR  |  June 12, 2007

Riot can’t be separated from its time, and neither should it be. That’s not to say the album is imprisoned by it. At least once every year, usually during the hottest days of the summer, Riot becomes the only music I listen to for days at a time. Maybe in the hot weather everything is slow enough for me to take the record in. It is, to cite Godard again, the return to zero that’s necessary before any start from zero can be attempted. It is both the scariest and the most claustrophobic record I know — and, in its negation and its refusal, one that suggests a new language is possible. That should not be seen as a sliver of hope, since the new language here talks of betrayal and shame and failure. Riot is the voice of both an embittered idealist and a man who saw the darkness of his time all too clearly. No wonder it ended Sly Stone’s career.

< prev  1  |  2  |  3  | 
  Topics: Music Features , Entertainment, Music, Music Reviews,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY CHARLES TAYLOR
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   CHARLES JACKSON’S SECOND ACT  |  March 18, 2013
    F. Scott Fitzgerald claimed there were no second acts in American life.
  •   KATE BEYOND TIME: THE KATE MOSS BOOK  |  January 08, 2013
    Almost all models who achieve some degree of fame find themselves blamed for whatever agenda their era's most vocal scold happens to be pushing.
  •   INTERVIEW: NINA HOSS ON BARBARA  |  December 18, 2012
    Quietly over the last 11 years, one of the strongest collaborations in contemporary cinema has been developing between the German director Christian Petzold and the actress he often chooses to star in his films, Nina Hoss. Petzold and Hoss's latest collaboration, Barbara , is their richest and finest film.
  •   SLIDESHOW: THE CHEAP NEAR-THRILLS OF SEXYTIME  |  December 14, 2012
    With porn so privately accessible now, we don't worry about the stigma attached to its consumption, the thought of someone pausing to peruse the art in front of an adult movie theater (hell, the thought of an adult movie theater) instead of just ducking in before being seen is almost touching.
  •   BUNNY YEAGER’S NAKED AMBITION  |  October 05, 2012
    Pin-up photography has served so many purposes — outlet for male desire; outlet for feminist ire; retro kitsch emblem — that it has barely been talked about as photography.

 See all articles by: CHARLES TAYLOR