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Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
11
4.1 out of 5 stars
Uncle Dysfunktional
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 25 June 2007
And yes, this IS a great comeback, even though you might not realize it the first couple of times you listen to the CD. This is not easy-listenable party music like "Pills, Bills.." or "It's great when you're straight.." It's much closer to the type of songs you find on Bummed - the classic 1988 Happy Mondays CD. No catchy choruses here, no female backing singers, (almost) no rappers, no groovy sample loops.

It's all just up to Ryder here - his "bummed old geezer" vocals and twisted lyrics about - well, the same old stuff basically that goes on in his life: sex, drugs, clubbing, and yes: even the weather. And of course he's backed by the Mondays, who plays like it's 1990 again. It's a great group, and Ryder is a truly great vocalist with a unique personality in his voice. Once it sets in on the first track, you know you've been missing it.

Howie B has done a great job producing this - and of course an unstable band like Ryder & co. needs a good producer (when you're doing drugs everything sounds great even when it isn't - remember "Yes please", anyone ?)

My favorite tracks here are Jellybean, Deviant, Rats with wings, and Weather. Only two tracks I really can't stand: Anti-warhol, and In the blood, where the Mondays try to sound 2007-trendy. Let's face it boys - that's just not going to happen.

A great job, nonetheless. Can't wait to see them live during the summer.
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on 11 July 2007
For a man who was abusing drugs from a very young age (thats abusing drugs, as opposed to banging a few pills on the weekend), Shaun Ryder 'had it' far longer than he really had any right to. The first Black Grape, in 1995, album was a stone cold classic, the second had its moments moments and Englands Irie was the best of the Euro 96 tunes, but 'it' has deserted him with this. The twisted lateral wordplay that graced the first 3 Mondays albums and Black Grape has been replaced by average chav-thug half rhymes, and its fair to say that there is really no point to this. Its a shame that as the Mondays influence becomes apparent they are back to sully their own legacy.

Leave it.
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on 12 July 2007
Ryder back to his best. It's not very often you laugh out loud to music but this new album has some great Shaun Ryder lyrics. Add that to funky beats and any old Mondays fan will love it. Its less dancey than the classics of old but more mellow and matured. A bit like Fun Lovin Criminals I suppose at times. It's impossible not to be drawn into it. If you don't like this, you don't like music - simply as that!
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on 4 July 2007
Okay I'm a mondays fan but really since boys are back and playground superstar singles didn't expect much. However, i read reviews saying this was better than expected so I expected it to be good. And you know what? It was better than I expected. Not too keen on the first track mind you. That chorus chord sequence smacks of the mondays when they were ravaged by, well, smack. But its bonkers, fun and actually quite unusual. Perhaps it won't win many new fans and it doesn't have the time/place/momentum of the older stuff but its still a great album. In fact, its the best thing I've heard for a while in among the indie schmindie and generic one trick ponies that make up todays music scene.

Ryder's babbling is as funny as ever and certainly stranger but then again he's been to some strange places. And the music is less dancy, more stoned on the couch but then again they are 40+.

Thanks to Damon Albarn and Gorillaz, thanks to rehab and thanks (and I thought I'd never say this) to Big Brother. It's great to have the Mondays back and you know what, this second lease of life is THOROUGHLY DESERVED!
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on 4 July 2007
Whilst the Mondays will never reach those heady days of the early 1990's when Madchester was in full swing and pills n thrills was all the rage, this album is better than i expected.

There is a good mixmatch of tunage on here, Ryders raw vocals with some funky guitars and funked up music make a very good album,recently seen live in Ireland @ the beach party and they played a great set.

Long live the Mondays!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 20 August 2007
As much Happy Mondays as it is Black Grape, Uncle Dysfunctional, the first new Mondays album in 15 years, is a rampaging disappointment. Ten years since he last released an album (excepting the 'spoken word' mess that was Amateur Night In The Big Top), "Uncle Dysfunctional" has cynically stole the Mondays brand name and Ryder and Co. have created what can charitably be described as a competent album of dirty white funk. Sadly though, compared to the Mondays glory days, this is a poor imitation.

With any group, the configuration of their lineup is undoubtedly going to affect the music within. What's missing here is... everything that made the Mondays a compelling proposition. The fluid, hypnotic bass lines have been replaced by forgettable rumbles. Guitars fail to capture the languid, filthy suggestion of the original era. Overall, what's missing are the tunes. There's nothing memorable here. In fact, it sounds like Ryder has hired a Mondays cover band to create a new record but instead produced a pale imitation of the past.

Lyrically, Ryder's genius is absent as well. Instead of the stream-of-consciousness that made Tony Wilson proclaim him the finest poet alive, the lyrics are just rhymed gibberish, repetitive nonsense words about nothing, and overall it seems as if the muse has deserted him. It's not all bad - "Uncle Dysfunctional" is a passable, vaguely enjoyable romp, but utterly meaningless, and lacking in everything that made the Mondays stand out miles beyond their contemporaries.

Instead of the intruiging ambigious wordplay that was welded to the best white boy grooves of all time, "Uncle Dysfunctional" is a poor replacement. Ryder has become a foul mouthed cake/hake/lake rhymer devoid of any redeeming features retreading tired and old ideas, whilst the music is merely... mediocre and forgettable - with the lowest point being an apathetic cover of Debbie Harry's "Rush Rush" from the Scarface soundtrack. It's not all bad, but it's certainly not all good.

"Uncle Dysfunctional" is not worth the wait, and easily the worst thing Ryder has put his name to since the underwhelming and characterless Mondays debut. Must try harder.
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on 19 November 2009
The Happy Monday were THE best band of the 90's before becoming victims of drugs and in-fighting. things were so intense that most of them have given up music altogether. But now the genius of Shaun Ryder burns bright again. The "clean" Shaun (yes he is great being straight) along with original members Gaz on drums and Bez on "something" have recruited some new, young musicians to become the most powerful Mondays yet. Didn't think they could replace Rowetta but they have found the equal in Julie. They are definitly back on form. Songs like Jellybean and Anti Warhole are as good as it gets. If you are an original Mondays fan or new to them this album will make you move. it's fookin great, man!
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on 19 October 2007
All the points I could make have already been made, so I'm going to cop out by just saying that I love this album.

The tunes are spot on, the lyrics are completely mad (which is good). It sounds like a band who are enjoying what they're doing and they've come up with something distinctive and fun.

I'd give it 6 stars if I could, to balance up some of the preceding naive reviews from people who were hoping for another Pills n Thrills. This is not a Zeitgeist album, it's a great album (apart from Anti Warhol).
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on 13 July 2007
I bought this with a batch of new releases by artists who are supposedly more on the ball - White Stripes, Bjork, all the usual suspects - but, good as they are, it's Uncle Dysfunktional I play most. Yeah, it DOES sound like Shaun hasn't got his teeth in, but these cuts are deep. A great summertime album. Unfortunately, we haven't had the summer that deserves this record. Welcome back, chaps!
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on 16 June 2007
Foookin great! First three tracks level the competition, and the rest reinforce this. When put beside next-genners like Kasabian (who are quite good) or anyone else, there is no comparision to the real deal. Thankfully some folks outlive their life expectancy and get to kill us all over again when we least expect it.
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