Ok so what, I hear you say? The Drood's post-major label offerings have often veered lamely between the mildly diverting and the downright disappointing, and at times irritating. A major talent going to waste in fact. But this is Cope's first general release for some time and you sense that he knew when to twist!
Now I've a confession. On first listen I was in the "one star" camp with a couple of your reviewers. Two short single discs masquerading as a double, lots of bitty ditties that seemed almost throwaway. But hey, a dogged perseverance often pays off, right? By the third listen you begin to draw parallels with Peggy Suicide and Jkill, particularly on the slow burners such as Dr Know and Cerrig y Drudion. But it is more than a throwback album of outtakes. There is a playfulness and a joyfulness here - as much fun as there is the ever present pun, and surely Shame Shame Shame has to be one of the more pertinent protest songs of recent years.
It doesn't all work. Not every somg is a winner by any means. And Cope is best when he sings in his own voice - he cannot growl so why does he keep trying you wonder, but at least he seems to have ditched or at least toned down those mid-atlantic tomes he seemed to cultivate in the late 90s. And being home recorded the production value is never going to be as impressive as when he was a Pop Star. But this is at least a partial return to form for which, boys and girls, we should be thankful. My advice to the "one star" camp then, is to live with this for a week or so and then you might just get it.