At first I did not warm to the album as much as I did to the Tweed album or the OG-Original gentleman. It seemed less humerous and more intent on answering Mr B's critics. Shelltoes or brogues is obviously a riposte to those people who have complained about Mr B wearing trainers while playing live, when they feel he should be clad in brogues. 'I've no wish to keep it real', is also answering those in the hip hop world who attach too much importance to this irritating philosophy. 'Hip hop was to blame after all', is about how record companies and big business have happily exploited hip hop to make money, while also blaming its culture for many of the ills of society. 'Brit school' is a satire about the establishment in Croydon created by the record companies to churn out the sort of pop stars they wanted. "Dane Bowers was a pupil for goodness sake"! In between these songs are some very funny and well observed ones. 'Ladies have friends who they hate' is brilliant, as is 'It doesn't pay to turn up late to an orgy', which is sung with piano accompaniment to a bored Lady Fanshawe. 'Pop song', 'grammar song', and 'toast' are all pleasant enough, but my favourite tunes are near the end of the album. Reasons to be unsuccessful (part 1) is great, and 'the Corinthians', a tribute to other great artists who "do it because we love it" is superb. 'Brushed tweed in the hour of chaos', ends the album on a high, being very PG Wodehouse, and thoroughly splendid.
What can one say? Mr B has produced a new Long Player, and after managing to avoid the pitfalls of the "tricky" 3rd Album, he has navigated us into a world of Funk Chap Hop! Whatoo! A Wonderful surprise and such an adventure!...Keep it up old chap.