Pop Voodoo UMC. CD/DL/LP
Shaun and Kermit re-start the party, after a 20-year break. After the illfated Happy Mondays reunions, the crippling crack habit, let alone the stints on reality TV, there was every chance that Shaun Ryder, ‘the artist’, was forever lost to the annals of history. It all serves to make this Black Grape comeback album even more remarkable in its front-to-back excellence. Ryder and partner-in-rhyme Paul ‘Kermit’ Leveridge’s third LP and first since 1997 is packed with big-beat party starters that recall the heady days of BG’s mid-’90s pomp, with Ryder’s hilariously bonkers wordplay – “You left me naked in my socks… you put a joint out on my cock” (String Theory) – reassuringly intact. Even better are the duo’s excursions into laid-back, socially conscious funk (Losing Sleep; Money Burns), which ensure the album ebbs and flows with a winning fluidity. As a musical antidote to these dark times, it’s just about perfect.