80s pop band Scritti Politti were one of the last English synth-led acts to make it big in the US, and their usage of elements of reggae (the collaborated with Shabba Ranks before he got really famous) and soul made for a refreshing cahnge from the likes of Duran Duran. 11 years on, mainmain Green Gartside has reformed the act, adn seemingly felt very pressured to modernise the sound.
Enter rappers Mos Def and Lee Majors to add their touch to much of the album. There are four especially rap-led tracks on the album, including the neat single Tinseltown to the Boogiedown. However, teh best and worst thing about the album is best summed up by Prince Among men. Over a soaring guitar riff, Majors bounces in with a tale of his life, about how he 'hates those cads in a suit and a tie', at which point Green (who would wear precisely that) comes in with a typically soulful chorus. As it darts from one section to another, it almost feels like 2 different songs, albeit both very good.
Four of the tracks are well and truly old-style Scritti, with First Goodbye especially bittersweet and touching. ALso impressive is Born To Be. However, the one track which lets the album down the most is Here Come July, an attempt at guitar-heavy power-pop, although 'attempt' is a strong word. Truly pitiful. But all in all, there is enough to entertain old and new fans.