Let me ask you a question. What do you think of when someone says Groove Armada? For me, they are a band I know little about other than I think I like their stuff. I think of some of their classic tunes like “Superstylin'” and “My Friend”… oh and not forgetting “I see you baby”. They’re that band that I know is cool but I don’t know why. They are the band that when I look at the track listing on a dance/chillout compilation album and don’t recognise any of the DJ’s/Bands, they stick out and I think “Oooh, I know them”.
And that is probably why I bought their latest album “Black Light”.
It’s a bit schizophrenic. There are a couple of lovely laid back songs such as “Just for tonight” and “Shameless” (Which features Bryan Ferry) that echo some of their past great. That’s mixed in with some great up beat stuff like “Paper Romance”, “Time and space” and “History” and you can see why you always ‘knew’ you liked them.
But then they have kinda filled it up with some random man being angry and shouting down the microphone at you. I mean, what are you doing boys? You’re luring us into this beautiful world and then you get some strange bloke to shout at us?! “Cards to your heart” is a good example. Smack in the middle of the album, nestling nicely between a chilled, albeit not the best track on the album, called “I won’t kneel” and their single “Paper Romance”. It’s just not nice.
It’s a shame really because I hoped this would cement my love for Groove Armada. I was hoping for something of the quality of Basement Jaxx… actually, I think this might be a taste thing. I’m sure for lots of people, this is one of their best works. For me, however, a casual Armada dabbler, I’m not sold (well I suppose I am cos I bought it but you know what I mean).
It’s 11 tracks long and in my opinion, if they had made it 6 or 7 I would have said this is a great album. But random shouty man and a bit of lost way, and they have chucked in just a little too much of music I just hit the ‘next track’ button on.
I’m sure the album will create handful of songs that will appear on compilation albums and be played in clubs, with or without being remixed, and we will all carry on buying them and think “That’s why I [think I] love this band”… and perhaps that’s they way we should all remember them.
I was going to give this one G but that isn’t really fair and as I said, I’m sure hard core real GA fans will think it rocks. And half or so of the tracks are good. So I’ll go for two G’s… but on only just.
My next album review will be… well, you’ll have to stay tuned 😉