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on 26 February 2002
Their last album, Very Mercenary, was good yet didn't reach the heights of Blow Your Headphones, so it's great to hear that Something Wicked is a step forward. There seem now to be two distinct sides to The Herbaliser: phat-beated hip-hop and full-on live band jazz-funk workouts. This works well to keep you interested all the way through the album.
Though there's no-one to match What What (on Blow Your Headphones) here, the UK MCs acquit themselves very well. These are great times for UK hip-hop, so it's only right that The Herbaliser employs some the best of British MCs on this album. Blade stands out in particular on Time 2 Build.
The instrumental tracks are great too. It's the sound of an ultra-tight band twanging the bass and blowing their horns for all they're worth. Jay Kay would probably kill for it.
All in all a fantastic party album full of juggernaut beats, quirky samples and big band bombast that'll keep you listening for some time to come.
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on 8 January 2017
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on 25 October 2002
This is by far the best Herbaliser album so far. Whilst I agree that Blow Your Headphones was a classic, it now seems a little dated.
All tracks on Something Wicked are fresh and intense. I especially like Distinguished Jamaican English and Blade's Time to Build. The samples are wicked also - check out The Hard Stuff for the funniest sample ever.
Just awesome - if you like the Ninja Tune Label and The Herbaliser you should definitely check this album out.
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on 19 March 2002
comin on like an episode of scooby doo in the london gangster underworld ,the herbaliser have produced a 21st century classic, smokey , sexy a very classy record indeed , the strings are wonderful the beats are produced to perfection and with guest spots by phi life cypher and mf.doom(amogst others) it is record you will own and love , perfect for a night in with the mates ,or a sensual getdown with the missus. its a very dope package.
;) Wicked
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on 6 March 2004
Judging by some of these reviews, 'Something Wicked...' doesn't appeal to a certain type of Herbaliser fan. In my opinion, the closed-minded ones. This album isn't leaning towards pretentious jazz, it's a mix of seductive downtempo grooves, fresh hip-hop and sleazy funk with some excellent production.
Admittedly, this album is a slight departure from the old Herbaliser sound, being less sample-based and with more emphasis on instrumentation - but the cheeky samples from old movies and public information films are still there, as is the clever scratching, catchy beats and awesome guest rappers. In any case, it's not as much a departure as a logical evolution of their style.
I suppose the only way you could dislike this album having been a fan of their previous work is if you are the sort of person who would dislike Barry Adamson's 'Murky World of...', and hence you probably wouldn't appreciate the cinematic lounge-funk-jazz hybrid that the backing to the Herbaliser beats has become.
I personally think the additional instruments give the album an epic, live feel, and shows that the Herbaliser are much more than just purveyors of high quality ambient hip-hop. Basically if you like quality hip-hop with stoned grooves such as Aim, you'll love this. If you are into bands like Quantic, Bonobo, Kinobe, Blue States - you should love this album too.
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on 27 February 2003
I've only just purchased this CD, but already it has become my most highly adored of all time. I'm new to the 'Ninja Tune' label, but this album certainly does it justice. Something Wicked This Way Comes has a little something for everyone.
Whether it be the chilled out and euphoric sound of 'Something Wicked' which features the haunting vocals of 'Seeming To.' or it's incredibly funky 'Turnaround' this CD is simply...Amazing. The Herbalizer do justice to their already distinguished 'jazzy' sound with the enlightening 'Unsung song' and the truly superb 'Battle of Bongo Hill'.
This album also features some of the most talented MC's from both U.K and U.S hip-hop. Phi-life Cypher demonstrate yet again that they have some of the smoothest and fastest mic skills to date in the amazing 'Distinguished Jamaican English' and 'Blade' gives them a good run for their money with his unique lyrical content in 'Time 2 Build'
If hip-hop is your thing, then buy this! If funk is what you like, then buy this! If you feel you need a new, refreshing sound to keep your ears smiling then make sure 'Something Wicked This Way Comes' is soon to be a member of your Cd collection.
Top Class!!!
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on 30 January 2016
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on 23 February 2004
Sorry - can't agree with the other reviewers (who gave 5 stars) here! I'm a huge fan of Herbaliser - Very Mercenary and Blow Your Headphones are stunning albums of low down, sampled up hip hop (and Session One is very good as well).
However this one seems to be leaning towards (slightly pretentious) jazz. Basically it is full of random doodlings and very little quality hip hop, and very few "songs" (just lots of ideas). Not a terrible album (there are some highlights - Something Wicked and Good Girl Gone Bad) but those expecting the usual full on Herbaliser (like me!) will be disappointed. Stick to the aforementioned albums unless you're a completist (sadly like me :)).
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