Album: Neville Staple

The Rude Boy Returns, RUDE BOY
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The Independent Culture

This solo outing finds the former Specials and Fun Boy Three member still mining the varied strata of Jamaican rhythms that have characterised his career so far, and applying them to socially relevant issues. The junkie in "Pressure" who spends his time "shooting up in the park" is straight out of a Specials-style societal tableau, while the warning, in "Why So Rude", that criminals and sociopaths will eventually be called to account for their misdeeds is in the long and distinguished tradition of Jamaican rude-boy sermons. Elsewhere, "Keep On" is a righteous ska sermon, "Writing on the Wall" a sluggish reggae-rocker predicting retribution "for the sorrow", and "Place in Life" a mockney rap-rock diatribe with a healthy scepticism about the fog of political discourse. It's not all gloom and foreboding, though: "Best of What You Got", "Pick It Up" and "Better a Know" all advise the downcast to raise their spirits and take control of their lives, rather than let o

This solo outing finds the former Specials and Fun Boy Three member still mining the varied strata of Jamaican rhythms that have characterised his career so far, and applying them to socially relevant issues. The junkie in "Pressure" who spends his time "shooting up in the park" is straight out of a Specials-style societal tableau, while the warning, in "Why So Rude", that criminals and sociopaths will eventually be called to account for their misdeeds is in the long and distinguished tradition of Jamaican rude-boy sermons. Elsewhere, "Keep On" is a righteous ska sermon, "Writing on the Wall" a sluggish reggae-rocker predicting retribution "for the sorrow", and "Place in Life" a mockney rap-rock diatribe with a healthy scepticism about the fog of political discourse. It's not all gloom and foreboding, though: "Best of What You Got", "Pick It Up" and "Better a Know" all advise the downcast to raise their spirits and take control of their lives, rather than let others run them down. The instrumentation, varies from feisty trombone and bluesy harmonica to poppy organ and fat, fuzz-guitar chords, while the sound is diversified further through the Indian/ska crossover "Nachna" and the brisk ska-blues "Cow Cow Yicky", which makes Little Axe-style use of its Leadbelly source material: mad, irresistible nonsense.

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