Since John Lydon last made an album, he reunited the Sex Pistols and appeared on TV as a Judge Judy litigant, a reality-show contestant and a spokesman for Country Life butter; in short, he’s become the punk-rock Kelly Ripa. But This Is PiL proves that the taunting weaponry of his voice is still a delight, as he drawls out syllables like an over-the-top TV villain. It’s tough to sharpen a rusty tool, and Lydon’s lyrics are often overshadowed by Lu Edmonds’ piercing guitar drones. But a few songs are crisply antagonistic, especially “One Drop”; amid a shuffling reggae backbeat, Lydon crows, “You cannot change us,” once again finding inspiration in defiance.
Listen to “One Drop”:
• Photos: Random Notes