"Welcome... welcome, to Peace and Love, Incorporated"

Peace and Love, Inc. was Information Society's 1992 follow up to Hack. The album was released in October of 1992 by Tommy Boy Records and had very little success in the American Billboard charts. However, the title track was the premier single from the album and went pretty main stream. Since techno was finally being recognized by suburbia you could be hearing this single in Gap Stores only a few months after release (in the playlist right after Boyz II Men or Nirvana). This is the last Information Society album where the band still contained James Cassidy and Paul Robb. By the next album attrition leaves only Kurt Harland (but gains his little brother Kris).

The cover of the album has a photograph of a sculpture by Timothy Eames. The sculpture consists of an articulated model of a right-hand and a sphere. The hand is made from white plastic, the ball joints at wrist and digit are wooden, stained to a bronze. The hand, palm forward, holds up the sphere (which is of the same stain as the ball joints); it is etched with longitude and latitude. Orbiting the globe are the words, "Peace and Love, Inc." The letters are bronze and attached to a dark frame that stands on posts from the sphere. The whole is similar to what you might find in the courtyard of a corporate headquarters. The photographic treatment is simple: the ambient light is low, while the sculpture is brightly lit from the left against a black backdrop.

The album as a collection of music follows the formula of the first two albums, but this one is progressively more electronic. The musical vector is apparent from their debut with a electro-pop (some people say Latin, some people say soul) sound to the more distilled electro-industrial-funk sound in Hack and leading to this album with lots of housey-techno Paul Robb singles (Peace and Love, To the City, 1,000,000 Watts of Love) mixed with Harland's "lonely" ballads (Where the I Divides, Crybaby, To Be Free). The band wanted to come across with something new - sharing a "mania for change at any cost." As a result the production on this record was done by four different people: Mike Thorne (who did most of Soft Cell's albums), Eric Kupper and Joey Beltram, both from the New York dance scene, and Karl Bartos (a member of Kraftwerk before creating Elektric Music.)

The writing on this album is a more personal than Hack and much more serious than the self-titled debut. One is more likely to play this record if they are still hurting from a breakup, but need something to get them going again. The energy comes through in the music, but a sadness comes through in the lyrics.

Track Listing:

  1. Peace & Love, Inc.
    by Paul Robb, produced by Mike Thorne with Paul Robb and Joey Beltram.

    "But what we've got/ Is a blue-light special on truth, it's the hottest thing with the youth... If you've got to have faith in something, have faith in us we'll make it easy. If you've got to belong to something, belong to us and we'll make you PC! Peace and Love, Incorporated."

  2. Going, Going, Gone
    by Paul Robb, produced by Mike Thorne.
    A fast paced ballad featuring Kurt's "sardonic" vocals.

    "Sometimes looking back I can't believe how many times I left her. I guess it's all part of the game/ That we play. All is fair in love and war/ But in this case they're quote the same thing. What's the difference if I go, or if I stay."

  3. To the City
    written and produced by Paul Robb.
    An instrumental that begins with the small dialog:


    "Where to, Mac?"

    "To the city!"

    The track continues with orchestra hits and sampled tire screeching as a sort of soundtrack building to a break containing a sample of Salt N' Peppa's "My Mic Sounds Nice" "Take it from the top, 1-2." BAM! To the city!. Hearing this song accompanies imaginings of sliding through the futuristic streets of a dark, sci-fi megacity, as men in trench coats and mirror shades pursue.

  4. Made to be Broken
    by Paul Robb, produced by Mike Thorne
    Leading in from the previous track the sound gets darker and more industrial. The instrumental is complete with samples from a mad scientist's lab and synthetic strings playing a melodic refrain. Kurt Harland is up front with Debbe Cole singing background vocals.

    Never had to tell a lie. Never had to say goodbye. It was only you and I/ Then.

    Memories will have to do. They will take the place of you. Can't you tell me what is true/ When:

    chorus: Words are lies/ The day they're spoken... Promises are/ Made to be broken.

  5. Still Here
    by Kurt Harland and G. Hendricks.
    An Information Society fan can tell this track is quintessentially "Kurt". It has a feel that goes way back to the debut's "Pure Energy" and Hack's "Come With Me". This is what real Techno sounds like when you mix it with dash of angst and a little television addiction. This one also contains samples from 1963's The Outer Limits, and of course Star Trek, right in a one-two punch: "I am in radio contact!" followed by a photon torpedo and Bones asking, "What kind of people are we?"

    ...We stay together now/ When all the signals say we should move on from here... But I don't think it's coincidence. And I don't believe in accidents. It's time to ask ourselves/ "Why are we still here?"

    this is also the last track on side a

  6. 1,000,000 Watts of Love
    by Paul Robb, produced by Eric Kupper and Paul Robb.
    I believe this is the first track on the B-Side to make it easier for club DJ's. Following the title track this is the most obvious piece of dance music. Eric Kupper's influence is evident as well. The piece centers around the introduction of electricity arcing. It's got ravey klaxons, blipping melodies, sawtooth 404's, and your bumping 4/4 kick drum. It also carries the cyberpunk underpinnings over from Hack:

    There comes a time when/ You need a good friend/ And all that you've got/ Is that glowing screen. You know you could fly. Your rate could run high/ But you've been squeezed in/ To that same old scene. You know what I mean.
    By turning that switch/ You're finding your niche/ And you could tell them/ Where to put that advice. You should get back in. It's time to jack in. We'll help you hack in/ To that glowing life. You won't have to think twice.

    Turn up the power. This is the hour. From every tower/ A Million Watts of Love

  7. Where Would I Be Without IBM
    by Paul Robb, produced by Elecktric Music.
    Combine InSoc with Kraftwerk, throw in Kurt Harland's sample collection of corporate TLAs, then make a little pop culture statement about global corporatism, and then you have this track. It fits perfectly in tone and style following 1,000,000 Watts of Love. This includes the choice verse:

    Where would I be without all my toys? where would I be without sampled noise? where would I be without seeing you again? where would I be without IBM?

    Entertainment, creativity, human relationships, all have a minuscule imprint on our fates when compared to the far reaching societal control of global corporations.

  8. To Be Free
    by Paul Robb, produced by Elecktric Music.
    This track is a poppy little ballad with sequenced piano's and a pitch bending synth string bridge. In this case I don't think that Karl Bartos was working with Robb, making a piece that is similar to other works on the album, but has incongruities within itself (I think a listen is necessary to describe what I mean). The simplicity of the beat, the wide audience appeal, and the familiar format make this track filler. While it could stand up on it's own as a dreary pop single (like they all were in 1992) it seems to me to be placed here to make the next track better, like using salt to bring out the sweetness of the next dish.

    Staring at an empty screen/ I can sometimes feel like dying. Doing what I have to do/ I can almost hear you crying... This is how it feels, To be Free. Figures slowly come to life. Almost always they are having/ Minor problems, minor strife. I can almost here you laughing... This is how it feels/ To be free.

  9. If It's Real
    by Paul Robb, produced by Eric Kupper and Paul Robb.
    Paul Robb's influences come through clearly in this track with a complex, hip-hop beat, funky horns from years of James Brown, all with the club sound of his past success. Because of the fusion of sounds and the optimistic lyric this is one of my favorites from the album. Lead vocals are Kurt Harland with Debbe Cole as backup. Have a taste:

    I don't know what you're thinking/ And I don't know how you feel. I only want to be with you/ If it's real. Only if it's real. And when I learn you feel the same/ The future and the past. We can make a change. This time things can last. And every time I think of you/ I can't believe it's true. The world can seem so old/ But I am born anew.

  10. Crybaby
    by Paul Robb, produced by Mike Thorne.
    This is the slowest, moodiest song of the album. "If I could say I still loved you, I would do it/ For you." Kurt sings the ballad over swelling strings and soft piano. "If I could stop the hands of time, I would do it on a dime... But life rolls on/ And I am already gone. What can you say, I'm still running away. So crybaby, cry. I don't care anymore." I guess it's interesting to note that this time the voice is not the victim, which is pretty uncommon for Information Society. "Crybaby, cry because I'm over you."
  11. Where The I Divides
    by Kurt Harland, produced by Mike Thorne.
    Industrial sounds and driving bass derivative from albums past explode from the crooning of "Crybaby". The imagery of the lyric is varied and surreal. The tone is uplifting and alternates from the darker industrial pulsing and mechanics into a brighter electronic chorus of harp and choir. This piece is the sound you hear on later Information Society albums where Robb and Cassidy aren't around.
  12. 300bps N, 8, 1 (Terminal Mode Or ASCII Download)
    This track is the recording of a modem transmisson. It only appears on the CD version of the album. The contents of that transmission probably deserves its own node.