Who's Afraid of the Art of Noise?

(Who's Afraid Of) The Art of Noise is the debut full-length album by English avant-garde synth-pop group Art of Noise, released on 19 June 1984 on ZTT Records.

(Who's Afraid Of) The Art of Noise
Art Of Noise - Who's Afraid Of The Art Of Noise CD album cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released19 June 1984
Recorded28 February 1983 – 1 April 1984
LabelZTT, Island
ProducerArt of Noise
Art of Noise chronology
Into Battle with the Art of Noise
(Who's Afraid Of) The Art of Noise

It features the UK hit singles "Close (To the Edit)" which reached No. 8 in the UK chart in November 1984 and the double A-sided "Moments in Love"/"Beat Box", which made it to No. 51 during April 1985 in the UK.

Critical receptionEdit

In a retrospective review, Charles Waring of Record Collector magazine gave the album four out of five stars and called it a "techno-pop classic". He said that it encapsulates both the popularity of the Fairlight CMI synthesizer and popular music in 1984—"the dawn of a new pop sensibility where sequencers, samplers and drum machines held sway".[1] Slant Magazine's Sal Cinquemani also gave it four stars and said that it was "as subtly influential as Kraftwerk's Trans-Europe Express". He found its "blend of experimental rock and New Wave" both "brash" and innovative, and said that the album is "at times irksome but always groundbreaking."[2] In his five-star review of the album, Allmusic's Ned Raggett called it an "entertaining and often frightening and screwed-up package", and said that "rarely has something aiming for modern pop status also sought to destroy and disturb so effectively."[3] Ian Wade of The Quietus viewed it as an influential "brilliant racket of" what contemporary listeners of the album believe would be the sound of the future, and called its music "thrillingly inventive, reasonably danceable and full of interesting bits to laugh, love and dance to."[4]

Pitchfork critic Tom Ewing gave the album's deluxe reissue a score of 8.6 out of 10 and said that it "flirts with annoyance and even boredom", but "could also be thrilling", and concluded in his review that it is "as sly, stirring, and occasionally infuriating now as it was on release."[5] Robert Christgau gave Who's Afraid of the Art of Noise? a "B" and said that, although its "concatenation of musical-instrument imitations and collapsing new sound effects" begets occasional interest and groove, only "Close (To the Edit)" sustains its performance.[6]

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Anne Dudley, Trevor Horn, J. J. Jeczalik, Gary Langan, and Paul Morley.

1."A Time for Fear (Who's Afraid)"4:43
2."Beat Box (Diversion One)"8:33
4."Close (To the Edit)"5:41
5."Who's Afraid (of the Art of Noise?)"4:22
6."Moments in Love"10:17
8."How to Kill"2:44
1994 Japanese edition bonus track
10."Close Up"7:42


  1. ^ Waring, Charles (November 2011). "Who's Afraid Of The Art Of Noise -Art Of Noise". Record Collector. London (394). Archived from the original on 11 July 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  2. ^ Cinquemani, Sal (2 November 2002). "The Art of Noise: (Who's Afraid Of?) The Art of Noise!". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  3. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Who's Afraid of the Art of Noise? - The Art of Noise". Allmusic. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  4. ^ Wade, Ian (26 September 2011). "The Art of Noise". The Quietus. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  5. ^ Ewing, Tom (9 September 2011). "Art of Noise: Who's Afraid of the Art of Noise [Deluxe Edition]". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  6. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Album: Art of Noise: (Who's Afraid of?) The Art of Noise". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 28 April 2013.

External linksEdit