So with this review comes something of a confession. Up until now, I have owned/do own/listened to every Siouxsie and the Banshees album except one... This one. Why? Take a look at the sleeve? It's shit. The only one I can think of that's as annoying is in its (similar) shitness is This Heat's 'Deceit' which I don't listen to for the same reason. Yes, it really is possible to be this stubborn and shallow: Owning a copy of Ju Ju would make the rest of my records look shitter by proxy. Which is a shame because it's not only fucking awesome but contender for the bands best album.
Obviously, Spellbound the opener I already knew as a single. Yeah, not bad but not 'Melt'. "Into the Night' however the following track - Holy fucking shit. It's perfect. That's not a statement I make too often. Other perfect songs include Magazine's 'Song From Under the Floorboards', MC5's 'Looking at You', Glenn Campbell's 'Wichita Lineman', there's maybe ten or so more. 'Arabian Knights' is fucking killer as well. I listened to this for the first time one night a couple of weeks back via a digital device whilst virtual record shopping from my kitchen. Before I get completely carried away by the music I do need to go back to that sleeve. What is going on? Some bollocks statue head thing surrounded by bits of torn up negative sheet music. Oooh, must have taken somebody the whole of two minutes to come up with that. On reading this is generally regarded as the band's second best album, such a shame it was landed with such god awful packaging, especially when you think of what came next the sleeve to 'A Kiss in the Dreamhouse' is great.
'Monitor' is utterly fucking killer. This is great. I'm listening to it now, something from 1981 that I am now hearing for the third time ever and it's fantastic. What a treat. I'm having an adventure. It's so nice when this happens.... Song fades, guitar kicks back in for a reprise at the midway point. 'Monitor' reminds me of Big Black's 'Kerosene' and something by that other band Placebo. I'm kind of pissed off that they didn't spend more time on the artwork. Underestimating the importance of the album sleeve is an almost unforgivable sin. It's an extension of your manifesto, your reason for being as a band. You are truly misguided if you believe it's just about the music. You can only stand for so much with the audio product. The branding, the band name, the choice of press shots, album artwork, relationship with the press, that's just as big, if not bigger. Nobody is just about the music.
Give it up for 'Night Shift' as well. Side 2 is just as moody as everything that came before it. The second side stands up well given that both singles came early in the proceedings. There isn't a dud on here... Assuming you don't include the sleeve which I would rate as -6 out of 10 at best. Curse me for being so empty and aesthetically driven if I were a little more forgiving of bollocks record sleeves this could have been in my life years ago.