“Love, Reign o’er Me” (Townsend, 1973 – written originally for ‘Rock Is Dead – Long Live Rock’)  was an outburst of emotions. It was about a person who had become overwhelmed by a love undeserved. Wallowing in unjustified devotion, he was drowning in unworthy consecration.

And, for all of us here in the UK, in what appears to be a period of Rainageddon, we might feel the same way. The skies seem to be permanently obscured -without a hint of any real sunlight – and the casual flooding is so common that we almost ignore it. We feel soggy and defeated by the constant watery attacks . We wonder if we should look to the sky – hands raised in contrition – to ask for some kind of spiritual redemption in the cleansing waters.

Maybe we should look for early surrender, and find solace in their suffocating, yet kindly, embrace?


Love Reign O’er Me
The Who

But the water is life-giving as well as life-taking.  And this – the most bitter irony – nags us inexorably into submission. We can never forget that others around the world would view our ever rain-filled life as a joyful redemption. They would be cheered by a single drop of what we have.

We are drowned by rain. Smothered by love. We are over-burdened by possession. We have been brought to our knees by the treasures that surround us. Yet we are still ungrateful.

It is a paradox that is studied well by the superior UK hip hop, rap crew ‘Critical State’ ( Casey, Alex, Jonny & Jack) in their new urban version of the classic Who track Reign o’er Me  Check it here

Set against those painful Daltrey vocals, and the pelting Moon drums, the bitter bite of life’s depressing codes and rituals are summarized against a sincere desire to grasp some understanding of why we must be judged against an ‘ordeal of water’. These questions are set against the immense outpouring of passion that threatens to drown us all out.

In this recording ‘Critical State’ valiantly hold scope to the mundane – yet never ignore the portentous backdrop that threatens to subsume. They grasp out at any attainable kisby-ring in a frantic bid to keep their heads-above-water. Otherwise, like us, they are in danger of being overwhelmed by the boiling froth.

This is an emotionally adult, moody and melancholic work of unsullied purification. Totally infectious. It is super-sized in stature and ambition. It makes for essential listening.

Drowning is the less common method of suicide. Listen to this, then, and you might find there’s more to live for than you think.

-© Neil_Mach January 2013 –

critical state logo



Love Reign O’er Me
The Who | Format: MP3 Download
From the Album Quadrophenia