Skunk Anansie are now as they were in the
heyday of the mid 90s Indie rock explosion. That means they are good. VERY good.
They still have everything that made them so revered, the most prominent of
which is the unwavering power of Skins vocals - unblemished after a career that
has spanned 3 decades. There are few, very few, that this can be said of.
Being an acoustic album it is invariably
more heavily vocally orientated, but there are lovely little intricate guitar
fills that are put in due to the fact that acoustically, playing the same thing
on the album probably wouldn't fit as well. One of my favourite such instances
is on 'Because Of You'. Simple little guitar scale in the key of India (listen
and you'll know) on the bridge to the last chorus. Little gems like this
crop up everywhere and if you're a fan like myself, then noticing these little
differences is probably going to make it more enjoyable than for someone who is
hearing it for the first time, but enjoy it they will.
Bravely, there is also a cover of Paul Wellers 'You Do Something To Me'. Weller
fans will remember a melancholy edge to his voice that - without wanting to start
a battle here - isn't quite possible in the same way for a woman. Not that I am,
or would, suggest they are trying to do the exact same thing. It's a challenge
to deliver a different take on something so well known - but they make it work.
Even people who are not fans of the genre would definitely appreciate this.
The consistency of musical quality throughout this
album starts at the top and only dips right at the end - because even after 18
songs you're left wanting more and there isn't any.