'tis been a good summer for great music and today brings the US-release of Scritti Politti's 2nd release of the decade (and 4th release since the classic 1985 Cupid & Psyche 85 album). The new album, White Bread Black Beer, is a meticulously produced (at home) and melodic 14-track treat for lovers of smart, beautiful pop-music. The key attraction, as always, is Green Gartside's incomparable honey-dew vocals that you'll recognize immediately if you were in high-school back in the '80's (YouTube of the week, I guess)
Talking about '80's romantic pop, there seems to be a resurgence of sorts of the New Romantic and New Wave pop music periods with the recent tour by Thomas Dolby, the Human League touring Europe at the moment and the original line-up of Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark (OMD) planning a 2007 tour (to think that I saw them back in 1984 when they were promoting their amazing Junk Culture - YouTube redux, I guess). And then, you also have the stupendous new Pet Shop Boys release, Fundamental. Now, get the Thompson Twins (YouTube thrice) back in the recording studio and I will be oh-so-happy.
What is a bit surprising about the new Scritti Politti release is just how much attention it has been getting. The New York Times profiles Green Gartside in the front page of their arts section today and calls the new album "his best work in 20 years, remarkably beautiful... subtle and exacting."
Amazingly, it's also been picked up on the short-list for the UK's Mercury Prize (along with other great acts such as Hot Chip and Thom Yorke).
Not sure I'm ready to call it the album of the year (Zero 7's The Garden is my fave right now and then there's Beat Pharmacy's dubby bubbly masterpiece Constant Pressure which includes this track) but a fine record indeed.
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