Album Review: Peter Perrett – “Humanworld”
Given that Peter Perrett isn’t exactly renowned as a man with a high productivity rate when it comes to albums in recent years, it’s a pleasant surprise to see a new release from the man a mere two years after his previous effort, 2017’s excellent How The West Was Won (to put this into context, prior to that his most recent effort was Woke Up Sticky way back in 1995, and before that you’ve got to go all the way back to 1980 for the Only Ones’ swansong Baby’s Got A Gun).
Humanworld seems to have got mixed reviews to date, and I think this might be because How The West Was Won was such a strong comeback from Perrett, so to be honest, any follow-up was always going to suffer a little bit by comparison. But I’m gonna stick my neck out and say it – by any other standards, it’s a strong effort. Put it this way, if this had been his comeback effort two years ago, I’m pretty sure there wouldn’t have been many complaints.
It’s a much more immediate album than its predecessor with the opening duo of I Want Your Dreams and Once Is Enough seeing Perrett looking back at the hazards of his less-than-straightlaced lifestyle with the band behind him (including his two sons) sounding tight and focused. Heavenly Day is a more wistful and gentle number (as the title suggests, not a million miles from Lou Reed’s Perfect Day in fact) and it’s clear that Perrett certainly isn’t running on empty here.
Humanworld is a bit of a schizophrenic effort in places, as is apparent when the sunny and optimistic The Power Is In You, which appears to be drawing comparisons between the current youth-fuelled protests and the peace marches in the ’60s, is immediately followed by the dark and spiteful Believe In Nothing with Perrett scowling “It’s not a time of hope/Living is a joke”. Elsewhere, War Plan Red sees Perrett casting a worried eye across the Atlantic toward the Trump administration and Master Of Destruction is a reflective look at some of the self-destructive relationships he’s had in his life.
Aside from the odd moment where he seems to be on autopilot a bit (Walking In Berlin and Love’s Inferno are a bit on the filler side), this is another strong album from Perrett, and proves that the guy has plenty of good tunes and insightful lyrics left in him.
Yes, it's not quite up to the standards of "How The West Was Won", but if you can put that aside, "Humanworld" is a good offering from Peter Perrett that certainly doesn't disappoint. A good mix of the man's dark and light sides, it's a solid and varied effort which should offer plenty to both his fans and the curious who've not really heard much of his stuff before. Recommended.