Oui 3 were unique. Lumped in with Jamiroquai and the Stereo MCs, this groundbreaking act deserved much, much better. Thankfully this compilation has helped redress the balance.
Alongside all the singles and two big hits - their anthemic take on 'For What it's Worth' and the remarkably fresh-sounding 'Break from the Old Routine' - five previously unreleased gems are included (taken from their unreleased second album), with the remainders drawn from their debut 'Oui Love You'. The range of genres successfully tackled by Oui 3 is simply awesome. Dub ('Arms of Solitude'), acid jazz ('Schemer Supreme'), daisy age ('Reason to Believe')...it's all here. In Trevor Miles, the group not only had one of the first major British rappers to rap in a London accent (Mike Skinner take note), but also an enormously talented and intelligent lyricist. I doubt many writers would be able to slip in 'segmented social purgatory' so effortlessly into a song as Miles has managed on 'Reason to Believe' By contrast, the previously unheard cuts demonstrate a much harder musical edge, with the late ex-Bow Wow Wow/ Adam and the Ants guitarist Matthew Ashman making an outstanding contribution to tracks like 'Caring 90s', and a surprise cover of PiL's 'Rise'. Elsewhere, Blair Booth's vocals positvely shine on the excellent 'I Come in Peace' and her mournful Ashman tribute 'You Can't Do That For Me'.
Were Oui 3 ahead of their time? Well, there's a line about halfway through 'For What it's Worth'. It rings, 'The just war is latest trend/ But let this good things come to an end'. Ladies and gentlemen, I rest my case.