What does it sound like?:
I was surprised to realise it’s now twenty years since the release of this album – how those years have flown by. No anniversary is left unmarked these days of course, so here it is in expanded form, now running to four cds. As a debut album it still sounds very strong, and I recall it seemed quite a breath of fresh air in the somewhat stagnant rock scene at the time. It’s hard rock sound harks back to the seventies heyday of bands such as Thin Lizzy, but things have been given an upgrade for the nineties, and there’s always some tongue in cheek humour lurking among the hook laden riffs and choruses. I Believe in a Thing Called Love is the one most people will associate with the band, with Justin Hawkins trademark falsetto vocals making the song stand out from the crowd, but there’s plenty more in similar vein and equally as good. The first cd is the pick of the bunch, with the original album plus a selection of demos which include the likes of the aforementioned I Believe and the immortal Black Shuck. The second disc rounds up waifs and strays – singles, B sides and various non-album tracks, the best of which is their Christmas hit. Overall though, there’s rather too much repetition of the same core songs in slightly different iterations. Discs three and four are live shows from Wembley in 2004 and Knebworth and The Astoria the previous year. These are decent enough shows, The Astoria one being the best for me, but again there’s a lot of duplication as the set lists don’t really differ that much. On the whole, I’d say the album has stood the test of time pretty well, and actually it’s refreshing to hear it again after quite a while, although the two cd version is the one to go for if you’re a casual rather than hardcore fan.
What does it all *mean*?
As a debut album this was always going to be a hard act to follow, and indeed the band never quite hit these heights consistently again,
Goes well with…
Reimagining the classic seventies rock sound for the 21st century.
Might suit people who like…
Not taking yourself too seriously, having a good time.