I’m not quite sure why I decided to review one of my guilty pleasures in the public forum, but I seem to be something of a glutton for punishment, so I’ll go with it. Skunk Anansie, the soundtrack to the angriest of my teenage years re-formed earlier this year for a tour after a spate of unsuccessful attempts at solo careers, in September (perhaps misguidedly) releasing Wonderlustre on the back of the nostalgia.
The opener, ‘God Loves Only You ‘ conjures the unsavoury atmosphere of 70s porn in the elevator of Hotel California, complete with jazzfunk bass, a moustached drum machine, and smooth over-produced vocals. ’My Ugly Boy’ notably revives Stoosh‘s ’We Love Your Apathy’ to the letter before making the uncomfortable transition to ‘Over The Love’ which made me realise that I definitely am. ’Talk too Much’ tries to recover the angst-ridden cool of Post Orgasmic Chill when it would have been much better left unsaid. ’The Sweetest Thing’ is bearable. The stomping and pouting ‘It Doesn’t Matter ‘ is a little too like a glamrock refashioning of Scissor Sisters for my liking. ’You’re too Expensive’ takes this a step further by adding a splash of mockney EMO for our listening displeasure, and ‘My Love Will Fall’ reminds me of late Alanis Morissette, which isn’t intended as a compliment. ’You Saved Me’ is insubstantial and largely inoffensive. Then, one may be ‘Feeling the Itch’ of abrasive distortion, but it is perhaps the best song on the record. Perhaps they should have followed their own advice in that ‘You Can’t Always Do What You Like’ – they did, and it clearly wasn’t a good idea, although it could provide Britain with a marginally edgier Eurovision entry. Finally, ‘I Will Stay But You Should Leave’ should be repeated to them, with emphasis.
Buy the record if you have no regard for taste, originality, or honesty and simply wish to unsatisfactorily indulge misguided nostalgia.