on 14 October 2012
After a very prelonged (and unnecessary) hiatus back in the 2000's, Skunk Anansie returned in 2010 with the impressive "Wonderlustre". Since there was a whopping 11 year gap between third and fourth albums, I was surprised to hear that they had released their fifth album "Black Traffic" so soon after the last. Nevertheless, when I saw the graffics on the album cover, I knew this album would be a winner and went straight out to purchase it. As anticipated, it is packed with energy and is a true return to form for the band, making "Wonderlustre" sound very tame.
"I Will Break You" is a fantastic opener to the album with great energy, fantastic vocals from the charasmatic Skin and a memorable melody making it the instant highlight of the album. It is followed by two more infectious fast paced songs "Sad Sad Sad" and "Spit You Out" which both confirm Skunk Anansie are back with a punch. One thing that did disappoint me on "Wonderlustre" is that there were no magical ballads like on the other albums, so I am delighted that "I Hope You Get To Meet Your Hero" is included here as it is truly beautiful with lovely vocals from Skin and mesmerising string arrangements, making it the second highlight on here. "I Believed In You" and "Satisfied?" are two more stomping Rock tracks whilst the chilled mid-tempo "Our Summer Kills The Sun" is much more mellow and has a distinctive pulsating Dance influence whilst retaining the Pop Rock vibe of the album towards the latter part of the song. "Drowning" has interesting atmospheric verses, but a slightly monotonous chorus that disappoints - the song is still quite good, but not as strong as the aforementioned tracks. "This Is Not A Game" is an original sounding Pop Rock ballad as the verses are faster paced than the chorus which I find quite different. "Sticky Fingers In Your Honey" is very old school Skunk Anansie and uses the mixture of Grunge, Funk and Rock that populated their first release "Paranoid & Sunburnt". The final song "Diving Down" adds a gentler touch to the album and is a pleasant mid-tempo Pop Rock song.
After "Wonderlustre" and the two solo albums from Skin, I did not think that Skunk Anansie would make such daring and exciting music anymore as I thought they had mellowed with age. Yet, thankfully, "Black Traffic" disproves this theory and certainly surpasses the expectations I had from them - this album is a very pleasant surpise.
on 29 September 2012
This is an almost miraculous return to form. After a hiatus Skunk Anansie returned with a couple of pretty good new tunes on their Smashes & Trashes singles collection and then a disappointing new album - Wonderlustre - and I must admit I didn't think we'd hear too much more from them.
I am, however, extremely happy to report that this is a belting new album and fully deserves all the positive comments left by other reviewers.
"I will break you" is a good opener. Catchy, rocky and a nice way to start.
The album really gets going from track 2 - "Sad Sad Sad". This is brilliant, definitely one of my favourites. I love the build up, the drama and then the release when the chorus hits. Great track and one I've been listening to again and again on my iPod.
"Spit you out" continues the good work so far and leads into the ballad "I hope you get to meet your hero". I'm not really into ballads and I have to admit this is not really one of my favourites but I will concede that it's a decent effort for those who do like ballads.
Next up is the stand out track on the album - "I believed in you". This is a great pulsating track, with good lyrics, a good chorus and just simply works so brilliantly well. I absolutely love this track. Probably worth buying the album solely for this one.
The rest of the album carries on the good work. It's rare nowadays to actually find an album you enjoy all the way through with variety and enough good tracks to keep you interested but this is what Skunk Anansie have given us, so thank you very much Skin et al, I hope your hard work and effort get rewarded appropriately and I will definitely be looking out for some live dates near me.
on 5 November 2012
Unlike a few of the reviews I've read on here, I actually really enjoyed 'Wonderlustre', so while I was expecting more of the same, I wouldn't have been too disappointed with that. Well, let's just say those expectations have been blown clean away - this album is just astounding!
From the punky and heavy "I Will Break You", "Satisfied" and "Sticky Fingers In Your Honey", through the mid-tempo 'angry' brilliance of 'Sad,Sad,Sad", "Spit You Out", "I Believed In You" and "This Is Not A Game", to the achingly-beautiful ballads "I Hope You Get To Meet Your Hero" and closer "Diving Down", this album has something to suit every taste.
The only not so great tracks, in my opinion anyway, are the non-descript "Our Summer Kills The Sun" and the repetitve "Drowning", but even then, most bands of today would kill for songs like that being referred to as the 'poorest' tracks!
Two simple words, "BUY IT".