STARSHIP – No Protection (1987)

Review by: Alex Alex
Album assigned by: Julien Mansencal

Most surely, people do not like the 80s music for the same reasons they do not usually like abstract art – they do not understand what to make out of it or, simpler, being egotistic and self-centered as people are, they do not understand how to enjoy.

When Genesis boldly, if somewhat idiotically (both attitudes are courtesy of the Gabriel legacy), put some not-so-good abstract art on their album covers (“Genesis”, “Abacab”, even “Duke” as an early-period painting of the same master) then people somewhat realize the connection and, if not really start appreciating the albums, at least start the endless discussions about “eras” as if none of the Tarantino movies have ever happened.

When the album cover is executed in a most realistic manner, as is the case with Starship’s No Protection then people start judging the songs according to the laws of the reality they currently experience which is the same as to say Mondrian could not paint anything but squares in three colors.

Mondrian could, however, same as could Starship when it still was Airplane. Indeed, comparing Mondrian early period with his golden one is much the same as comparing Airplane to Starship or, more importantly, comparing airplanes and starships in general.

Airplanes are killed by stewardesses. Starships are erotic by themselves, the Cosmos demand females to be either fully naked or dressed ridiculously. This is so in order not to distract people from the beauty of the Starship itself.

The beauty and the freedom of Starship as opposed to all the bankrupt private airlines is immense. When people say the 80s music is dead, those people are often the same ones who say “when I die I fly to God, I fly to the center of the Universe, I fly among the brightest stars”. And how do you fly there, dear sirs? By way of the Starship of the Dead for there are no airplanes that can do this long flight.

And why is it you can travel to God who sits in the center of the Universe, listening to Shpongle, by Starship with a big big generator? This is because of the beauty of the engine. The engine is not visible and yet it is the engine, not fancy dressed stewardesses, who provides the power and guarantees you to be taken to God in the blinking of an eye.

And if your starship is broken, it’s not the same as with a new Nick Cave album. There will always be problems with any new Nick Cave album because it’s new for no reasons. The only problem with Starship engine is it has become obsolete, other engines have replaced it but it still, theoretically, can fly, if in our nostalgic dreams only.

There are strict regulations on board. There is a beat of the machine and the patrol to keep the beat. There is a world going on underground as we have been informed by Mr. Waits in strict confidence. The error of the auteurs, however, is that there is nothing confidential about that anymore.

Confidential are the pieces of broken glass and the diaries you bury under the tree in your childhood garden. If, however, you keep your Walkman in secret then there is no chance it will evolve into an Ipod. And if it does not happen soon, then you are going to be deeply sorry about that.

Most Alas! As a stubborn teenager you are still insisting there is a menace in you being welcomed to the machine and so you are rejecting your journey to the center of the Earth on the inverted airplane, the inmost starship of the Cthulhian business, shining brightly.