The Fall, A World Bewitched: Best of 1990-2000, Vol. 2

Douglas Wolk

By Douglas Wolk

on 07.11.12 in Reviews

The ’90s were a rough time for the Fall, with extensive lineup churn and a lot of half-realized projects. Weirdly, the side-projects, singles tracks, covers and castoffs collected here amount to a fine, if all-over-the-place, album. Mark E. Smith always seems to get a creative jolt out of collaborations outside the Fall (like the Von Südenfed album from 2007); his guest appearances on D.O.S.E.’s “Plug Myself In,” Inspiral Carpets’ “I Want You” and Long Fin Killie’s “The Heads of Dead Surfers” are delirious with power. The Marshall Suite-era bonus track “The Real Life of Crying Marshall” is one of the band’s most successful hybrids of electronics and raw riffing, and the reggae covers “Why Are People Grudgeful?” and “Kimble” point out the Fall’s relationship to the weirdest Jamaican deejay records. Only a guest shot on Tackhead‘s remake of the first Fall single, “Repetition,” falls flat: Smith’s never been much for revisiting the past.