This really, really shouldn't work. 17 songs encompassing virtually every genre under the Sun. By rights it probably should be an incoherent mess. But, somehow or other, this is not the case.
Maybe the best case in point is "Stepchild". The song combines an acoustic chill-out start, a laid back dance feel, spoken word vocals backed up by soulful singing (in African perhaps? I'm not entirely sure) before turning into a Muse-style rock-out, but the whole thing is blended so seamlessly you don't even notice.
Maybe the key to the brilliance of this album is that, whichever genre BV3000 tackle, be it 70s soul ("Astounded"), folk (the closer "Rockstar") or even Steps/Abba-style pop ("Love Cliche"), they sound like they are the masters of, rather than light-weight imitations as is so often the case when bands attempt this. The combinaion of ambition and brilliance is an exciting one.
Perhaps the album's very-finest moment, however, is the five and a half-minute long epic "Speed". It can only really be described as the kind of song a fictional band on a TV programme would pull out of the bag at the last minute to take them from being on the verge of failure to glorious success. Most brilliantly, though, just as it seems to be reaching its climax, the rapping comes in and takes it to another level. As the rap appears to approach its climax, the drums take it to an even higher level again.
And all this is not to mention the gorgeous "Loop Me", the sublime "Dare I Say" and the superb three-songs blended together run from "Shopping" through "More Shopping" to "The Answer", the opener of which is a delightful reggae track, the middle filthy, funny and oddly reminscent of the "Pet Shop Boys" and the latter a mind-blowingly fantastic hip-hop/dance experience.
Intelligent and fun, thought-provoking and enjoyable, this album is an absolute delight. There's nothing more to say but go out and buy it. Now!