The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


A review of the album The Post War Musical by Pilotlight

Review Snapshot: The Post War Musical is a beautiful debut record from an Irish band who have aren't afraid to explore old themes with a new perspective.

The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10

Full Review: The French philosopher Alain Badiou coined the phrase inaesthetic to refer to the creation of art. 


In his Handbook of Inaesthetics, Badiou opined that artistic endeavours were both immanent and singular. They are immanent in the sense that their truth is given in their immediacy and singular in that their truth is found in the work of art and the work of art alone.  To Badiou, the critic and his/her analysis doesn't particularly matter.  The truth, the beauty and the merit of a piece of music exists not in my words, or the words of my kin, but in the work itself.

That's not to say you shouldn't read what I'm about to say about Pilotlight's debut long player, The Post War Musical.  Indeed, I rather hope you do.  However, of more concern to me is that, having read the review, you take the time to purchase your own copy of the album, and judge for yourself.  Find your own beauty, see your own truth.

For me, The Post War Musical offers a great deal of both.  Named after the British government's attempt to cheer up a populace recovering from the loss of a whole generation of young men; this record provides the soundtrack to those fleeting moments of escapism we feel during the mundane nature of our daily - wake, consume, sleep - lifestyle. 

Songs like the powerful Pulling on Doors that say Push and Health & Safety speak to the same part of your conscience that occasionally views the world in raw impressionist brush strokes.  This is a record packed full of unexpected colour and where the lines between objects and their shadows become increasingly blurred.

Lyrically, Pilotlight (formerly Polar) explore various themes of love, loss and the fleetingness of existence while managing to find new paths to take in those well walked yellow woods.  The inevitability of death is beautifully portrayed in Letting Balloons Go, while the sheer heart-stopping, jaw-dropping effects of falling in love are wonderfully sketched on South, without every straying into sentimentality. 

However, it is the album closing The Shortest Route to Happiness is a Straight Line that steals this particular Post War Musical.  Displaying all Pilotlight's musical prowess, as well as the deft touch of super producer Karl Odlum, it is a remarkably fragile composition, best described as beautiful.

If, as Keats would have us believe, "beauty is truth, truth beauty";  The Post War Musical is, indeed, "all ye need to know."

Steven O'Rourke

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2001 - Early career profile of Damien Rice, written by Sinead Ward. This insightful profile was written before Damien broke internationally with the release of his debut album 'O'. This profile continues to attract hundreds of visits every month, it being linked to from Damien Rice's Wikipedia page.