WORTH A LOOK?: *****
RELEASED: Friday 24 September 2021
TRACKLIST: Dust At Her Feet; Time Storm; More Than A Miracle; One More Time; Each and Every One; Earthbound; Touching Distance; Unicorn Kisses; Journey To You; Teardrop Rock
The Blow Monkeys found fame in the late 80s by marrying a saxaphone-heavy dance pop sound with lyrics often criticising then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and it’s interesting that the muse for this 1st new album in 4 years is once again female but this time about love rather than hate.
- Read on for reasons including how to see The Blow Monkeys on their UK tour later this year
Opening track Dust At Her Feet expresses an admiration of a member of the fairer sex complete with an orchestral enhanced tune that reminds of both The Beatles and T-Rex without ever being overawed by such comparisons. Dust was a song of the week for us on its June release.
Also present and correct is Neville Henry’s trademark saxaphone which finds its most memorable deployment on debut single Time Storm, the 2nd track and a song of the week for us back in 2020.
That was the track that 1st caught our ears and persuaded us to listen out for this 1st album of the band’s that we’ve played in full since we saw them in Kilburn, north London, promoting the Springtime For The World album in 1990 that would prove to be their last for a while.
We interviewed lead singer Dr Robert earlier this year and he explained the reasoning behind the Studio 54 vibe of 2nd single More Than A Miracle, a song of the month for us in April.
All 3 tracks were featured in our songs of 2021 so far shortlist and make for a phenomenally strong start to this 10-track album. We’ve had the pleasure of months in its company ahead of its release this month and it’s a collection that is so strong that we can’t wait to see the band on tour this Autumn and it makes us want to dig out more of the back catalogue of a band we fear never quite received the acclaim they deserved.
Since then the title track has been released and we’re enjoying the Ennio Moricone sweep of the production and prominent brass which gives it an epic, spaghetti Western feel.
Of the 6 tracks you won’t have heard of yet, One More Time is a more straight forward bop with talky middle 8 and Each and Every One 60s influenced Motown with a touch of Amy Winehouse.
Earthbound boasts a beautiful tinkling keyboard with 60s pop hooks that build into a sax-driven, middle 8 that is quite joyful and dips its toes into 70s embellishments as well as lyrically evoking ‘Canada geese flying overhead’.
Touching Distance is a predominantly instrumental jam which reminds of the band’s 90s dance heyday with brass recalling their earlier success.
Unicorn Kisses combines early flute and ska brass while Teardrop Rock is predominantly instrumental and reminds of the band at their most experimental.
We’re reminded of why we loved the band at their commercial peak so much and for us this just shades Animal Magic and She Was Only A Grocer’s Daughter as our favourite of the band’s albums.
Journey To You is doubtless 1 of the albums of the year so far. Not only will you revel in the destination but you’ll also enjoy the ride.