Third album from the Manchester alternative dance band led by Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder produced by Youth.
The Happy Mondays fell apart in 1992, leaving most observers to assume that it was the end for Shaun Ryder, as he struggled to recover from his numerous drug addictions. No one could have ever predicted that three years later, a relatively fit and healthy Shaun would return to the top of the charts, with a new band.
Black Grape’s debut album, It’s Great When You’re Straight…Yeah is a surreal, funky, profane, and perversely joyous album, overflowing with casual eclecticism and giddy humor. The new band was looser and grittier than the Mondays.
Ryder’s sound was reinvigorated, creating bizarre rhymes that tie together junk culture, drug lingo, literary references, and utter nonsense. One of Britain’s best wordsmiths Shaun Ryder’s lyrics have always been delightfully freewheeling, and full of multicolored imagery.
Teaming up with Kermit he now had a rapper on board with equal skills to bounce off. Even better, the music has deep grooves and catchy pop hooks that come straight out of left field. Whilst the memory of the Happy Mondays, has been kept alive by its various members extra musical curricular activities, Black Grape has always been the simmering stalking horse, waiting in the wings, for a time to come back to life, and remind people of the huge commercial and musical celebration that it was.
Black Grape are back with new album Pop Voodoo that really does rock the fuck out of the discotheque. It’s a rewind to over twenty years ago and the glory days.
Shaun’s word play has never been deployed to such devastating effect, and he scores a bullseye whether he hits the obvious targets (Trump), and the more obscure ones… well, find out for yourself. The world is in a bit of a state right now, and bullshit reigns more than ever, and perversely disguised as candour. We need Manc street sass, intelligence and wit more than ever right now.
This new Pop Voodoo album has that in spades.
Listen to the song Pop Voodoo below: