Instead of recording an album of new material like most reformed bands do, they've rerecorded 14 Gang of Four classics cherry-picked from albums such as Entertainment!, Solid Gold, and Songs of the Free. It's hard to think of a precedent in rock history for Return -- essentially, a band recording its own tribute album.
Return the Gift places in plain, unavoidable sight the redundancy and reconsumption involved in rock's nostalgia market. When fans buy new albums by reformed favorites of their youth, at heart they're hoping for a magical erasure of time itself. They're not really interested in what the band might have to say now, or where the band members' separate musical journeys have taken them in subsequent decades; they want the band to create "new" songs in their vintage style. Such consumer bad faith is precisely the kind of phenomenon that the old Gang of Four enjoyed skewering. Could it be that Return is saying, "You want a Gang of Four resurrection? Here you are, then, exactly what you secretly, deep-down crave: the old songs, again."
Entertaining review of the "new" Gang of Four album:
Current Music: Gary Numan -- Dead Heaven ♬