Friday, April 22, 2011

He's Frank (Slight Return)

Song: He's Frank (Slight Return)
Artist: The BPA
Album: We're Going to Need a Bigger Boat

I recently was looking up Fatboy Slim (AKA Norman Cook) to see what the man was up to and found out that before the excellent "Here Lies Love," he'd done a compilation under the moniker The BPA (Brighton Port Authority.)  He was moving away from Big Beat, the genre that put him on the map, with his last album under the Fatboy Slim name, '04's "Palookaville," and the BPA album, "We're Going to Need a Bigger Boat" bridges a gap between that effort, and the more eccentric pop of "Here Lies Love."

The album is comprised of twelve tracks, each with a different singer.  Iggy Pop, Pete York, Martha Wainwright, David Byrne, and Dizzee Rascal all contribute to the album.  Things kick off nicely with the Iggy Pop assisted "He's Frank (Slight Return)" a cover of the Monochrome Set track.  Its got an infectious clean guitar lick, and of course Iggy's deep growl, very fun.  I also like the slinky second track, "Dirty Sheets" with Pete York.  It becomes clear that Cook is moving away from his beat focused work under the Fatboy name, possibly why this release comes as The Brighton Port Authority.

"Should I Stay or Should I Blow" featuring Ashley Beedle has a light reggae vibe, the Bowie sounding Justin Roberts sings on "Island," which sounds like a re-do of the New Order track "Temptation," by-way of the Moby cover.  But I like it.  All in all the album is pretty varies in styles and sounds but the tracks work together.  They're not held together by a concept like "Here Lies Love," but do work as a whole.

It does make me wonder, given that we're seven years from "Palookaville," if he has no plans to release another Fatboy Slim album.  Or possibly the trappings of that name and genre were constrictive... who knows.  But this BPA album, as well as "Here Lies Love" are winning substitutes.


He's Frank (Slight Return)

Toe Jam

Dirty Sheets

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