Black Grape released their first album in 20 years, ‘Pop Voodo’ (listen)
Black Grape, Shaun Ryder’s post Happy Mondays band with Ruthless Rap Assassins’ member, Kermit, made a splash with their 1995 debut, It’s Great When You’re Straight… Yeah, which was a #1 album in the UK and spawned three Top 20 singles. The second album, 1997’s underwhelming Stupid Stupid Stupid, and the band split up the following year. After getting back together in 2010, touring in 2015, and releasing a football anthem with Goldie and Paul Oakenfold last year, Black Grape are officially back with Pop Voodoo, their first new album in 20 years.
Like their previous LPs, Pop Voodoo is a party record, at times with an almost acid jazz bent to it. (“I Wanna Be Like You” and “String Theory” could’ve been on their debut.) Producer Youth, who has worked with U2, Depeche Mode, The Jesus & Mary Chain and Primal Scream, brings an appealing, light funky touch to the record. Ryder, who released a terrific solo single a couple years back, meanwhile, still has a unique way with words and gets off some great lines. He and Kermit recored their vocals “nose to nose” which gives things more of a live feel. A surprising, and surprisingly welcome return. Listen to the LP, and watch videos for a few of the new tracks, below.