April 17, 2006

She'll grab your sweaty bollocks, then slowly raise her knee



I love the cover of The Beautiful South's new single "Manchester." In fact, I want a poster of it. I assume that their new artwork is all based on photos of old buses? They are clever that way, even if one can read a message of obsolescence into the imagery.

Not so clever have they recently been in the aural contents of their CDs. 2004's kicky covers CD notwithstanding, their records have been case of diminishing returns since 1996's Black Is The Colour, the follow-up to the double whammy of 199o's Choke and 1994's Miaow. When the caramel-voiced Jacqui Abbott left in 2001, they flailed, releasing the utter turd that was 2003's Gaze. TBS seem afflicted with Chris Isaak Syndrome: you know they have talent and you know they could expand upon it in some delicious ways, but they resolutely refuse, stubbornly sticking to what they know, that which is comfortable, even if it means failing. Or wait? Is that George W. Bush Syndrome? Hmmm.

It's a shame because Paul Heaton and his merry band of Hull pubgoers held up the mantle of British lit-pop in the early 1990's. They were particularly good at detailing the juxtaposition/incongruities of the sexes on various songs - they wrote some brilliant, barbed-tongue lyrics. Who can forget these lines from the truly perfect single, "Rotterdam"? "
The whole place is pickled / The people are pickled for sure / And no one knows if they've done more here / Than they ever would do in a jar."

As for the new single, it is depressingly weak. Mancunians won't buy it, they'll just sing along to it, drunk in pubs. One hopes that May 15's
Superbi album will better reflect the energy of their recent covers of songs like "Don't Fear The Reaper." I don't have high hopes, but I have not written them off.

I highly recommend any of their 3 Greatest Hits CDs, along with the aforementioned Choke or Miaow. Check out this
exhaustive discography for the deets.

Xolondon's Top Ten TBS Songs In No Order Are....

01 I Think The Answer’s Yes
02 Let Love Speak Up Itself
03 Hold On To What?
04 Prettiest Eyes
05 Rotterdam
06 Mirror
07 Don’t Marry Her (Fuck Me)
08 Dumb
09 Masculine Eclipse
10 A Little Time


For my peeps, a very special TBS rarity that is quite special...

"Let Love Speak Up Itself" (Jacqui Abbott version)

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