Sunday 1 March 2009

The BPA – I Think We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat

Norman Cook drops the Fatboy Slim moniker and presents a varied album of not-quite dance but still catchy and often fun tracks, in the guise of The BPA (Brighton Port Authority) – I Think We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat. Some of the quality dips below that of the best of Palookaville, whereas others are shining examples of Norman Cook at his bes

Without a doubt the stand out track is Toe Jam with David Byrne and Dizzee Rascal. This calypso inspired load of nonsense is Cook channelling Talking Heads incredibly well, with Dizzee's brief cameo being brilliantly placed. Other tracks which really pleased my ear were the jangly guitars on He's Frank with Iggy Pop, and the very Bloc Party sounding Local Town with Jamie T on guest vocals.

One unexpected highlight is So It Goes, a 70s inspired soul jam with gospel organs and Olly Hite's quite impressive voice belting out. Another is Seattle, an incredibly catchy pop number featuring the modestly named Emmy The Great. It's one of those songs that just gets stuck in your head for days. Jumps The Fence is the oddest song next to Toe Jam, with Connan Mockasin's strong New Zealand accent lending a further amount of surrealism to the track.

The middling songs come from Pete York on Dirty Sheets and dance DJ turned singer Ashley Beedle on Should I Stay Or Should I Blow. They're not terrible songs, but just don't have the impact of the other songs. However, Superman and Superlover are both slower tracks, and to my mind some of the weakest songs. Then again, I've never been able to get into Cagedbaby.

One of the biggest disappointments of the album is it has in clear writing on the cover the word "Lateef", yet he's not to be found anywhere on the album. Lateef saved Palookaville from complete condemnation, and his absence despite the advertising is sorely missed.

2 Stars

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