Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Desert Island Discs 80 - White Bread Black Beer by Scritti Politti

80 - White Bread Black Beer by Scritti Politti 2006

I've not gone for the highly polished stylised perfect pop of the 80s or rap pop fusion (sounds like a new type of restaurant) of the first come back. Instead I've gone for the mercury nominated earthier home made sound of White Bread Black Beer.

On one hand it sounds like a diy lp recorded in his kitchen , on the other a richly layered wildly inventive set of songs that taps into Green's Brian Wilson tendencies

The result is a set of pop songs that hold their own with with the cupid era

The lyrics hint of a troubled few years

Looks like maybe we'll lose our home
Out of pocket and all alone
I should have worked and should have known
Seen the dark clouds coming

Harmonies abound , acoustic guitars rub shoulders with programmed beats and playful arrangements. Listen to how this track goes from to layered harmonies to a simple acoustic song then on to a Beach Boys big chorus and then onto an almost throwaway Prince like funk coda that is good enough for its own song all in 6 mins

Mrs Hughes - Scritti Politti

Of the 14 tracks the only slight misfire is when he tries  a semi rock out.

Any lp that has you singing along to such nonsense as

the boom boom bap
the tapa tap tap
that's the beat of my life  deserves its pace in the top 125

If hooks could kill indeed

You can buy White Bread Black Beer here


  1. Boom Boom Bap reminds us that this is the man who made The Sweetest Girl, Songs To Remember and Skank Bloc Bologna. He has matured and refined what has always been a singular pop outlook.

  2. I've heard a lot of good things about this, but never picked up the album. I do like the "sound" a lot better than the 80's stuff, although that voice has always been a stumbling block for me...

    #80 - SNOW PATROL - Eyes Open

    - probably not a poular choice around these parts, but I like Gary Lightbody. He's a lovable flake, and those first couple of releases were really quirky. Who would have thunk he'd eventually create a stadium rock classic? Anthemic singalong choruses and often moving lyrics; my better half loves this album. My favorite moments are the ballads...

    Set Fire To The third Bar (@ Abbey Road):
    You Could Be Happy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76Mbnuwk2d4

  3. Hi Echo agree he is a bit of a pop maverick that also managed to mine a commercial seam

    Hi Tim know what you mean re the voice it is a divider. That is one of the reasons I love the rap songs on the 4th lp as contrast with the with rap artists and his sweetly sickly voice worked a treat

    i like Snow patrol but prefer the reindeer section lps he did (especially son of), and have you heard his tired pony lp (a move west to americana territory)

    1. Haven't bought Tired Pony, but have sampled most of it. Not enough substance to run out to buy it, although 'Dead American Writers' is a charming little single. Maybe I'm just wary after being stung by Snow patrol's last couple of middling releases.

    2. you are right it doesnt have enough light and shade

  4. Green always struck me as Paddy Mac's slightly nerdy little brother; the one with the chemistry set who was always trying to impress; too much presentation, not enough content, or as my old neighbor used to say "it's all 'on top'"... That's probably why I like this album the best. Heart & head...
    Snow Patrol... I brought their Greatest Hits album recently and was amazed at how many hits they'd had. I too prefer the Son of Reindeer stuff but you can't deny the potency of 'Ride' and 'Chasing Cars'. I do find it a bit unsettling when he goes for the high notes and rolls back his eyes to white; like a shark about to bite...

  5. rolling your eyes back one of those bodily tricks i can't stand , along with double jointed bendy arms

  6. I remember spotting this album whilst browsing my favourite CD shop in Tel Aviv. I had no idea that there was a new album out and snapped it up. On the bus home I was wondering if it was going to be as dissapointing as 'Anomie and Bonhomie' or would I love it as much as 'Songs to Remember' and 'Cupid and Psyche'. Thankfully it proved to be the latter . When I chose my Scritti album it was between this and Cupid and in the end nostagia won.
    Tim - I'm not a huge fan of Snow Patrol but have to go along with the guys in saying The Reindeer Section are pretty damned good.
    I have a feeling I might ruffle some feathers with my # 80
    The Go Betweens - Bright Yellow Bright Orange.I think after there hiatus of a decade or more they came back a little smoother around the edges. Still the great jangling guitars but now with a violin here and there and some nice backing vocals. Pretty cruel of you David making us pick only one album per artist.
    On a completely seperate note have you heard the band Father Sculptor? Theyv'e been releasing tracks all year and have just bundled them together to download from their bandcamp page .Worth 4 pounds of anyones money

  7. The comeback Go Betweens albums were brilliantly patchy; but I believe that they were always so; maybe nostalgic myopia forgives the earlier albums their imperfections.
    For me they only made one perfect album to be revealed much later.
    Of the newer stuff I love the 3 track centre pice of Oceans Apart that comprises No Reason to Cry/Boundary Rider/Darlinghurst Nights...

  8. This was a great return to form by Scritti but I'm currently favouring another album from their vaults.

    As with Trevor I'll be favouring a different, earlier Go-Betweens album. Still a great reunion and their first post-reformation gig in Dublin was a magical, joyous night. Their 'second life' is justified for me by Darlinghurst Nights alone. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouHhL2xva4k

  9. Whot! GoB's @ #80!!!

  10. I agree with Trev I think they have always ben a bit patchy but gloriously so - i love the mark 2 lps but my choice is one of the mark 1 lps and much further up. Good call Phil on Father Sculpture they are a great new band.

    Phil i loved Anomie - Tinseltown is one of the great lost singles although this may be due to the fact that I was late buying Cupid , liking hte singles when they came out but not really feelign a need to buy the lps, eventually got the first 3 lps on cd when they were on promotion somewhere - so i wasnt as disappiointed that Anomie was a pretty big shift in style

    and i can only echo Tim's !!! with the 80 position!!!

  11. Excellent album and underrated band indeed. "Snow in Sun" is back in the spotlight these days, covered on Tracey Thorn's last album "Tinsel and lights". Another song worth listening to is a duet between Green and Tracey on a new song called "Taking Down the Tree". Seb.

  12. Hi Seb

    I love TT's new lp and her 2 originals are fantastic. The only one that grates a bit is the cover of the have yourself ..


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