Bounce is the first album from The Beat in over thirty years and is being released on independent label, DMF Records. Written by a combination of Ranking Roger, Mick Lister and Ranking Junior, this album has been produced by Lister (Bad Company, Amy Winehouse, The Feeling) and mixed by Tim Hamill and Lister except new tracks Side To Side and My Dream which were mixed by Dennis Bovell.
The Beat, best known for a string of hits in the late 70’s and early 80’s such as Mirror In The Bathroom, Too Nice To Talk Too and debut single, Tears Of A Clown, split in 1983. Following on from that there became two versions of the band; one led by Ranking Roger and The English Beat with original vocalist and guitarist, Dave Wakeling. Over thirty years later both camps remain friends and both are to release new albums this year.
Bounce is an album well worth waiting for as it encompasses every aspect of one of the most musically diverse bands to come out of the multi-racial, multi-cultural explosion that made British pop music what it was in the 80’s. It is so good that it could have been recorded thirty years ago as Ranking Roger and Co manage to perfectly keep the essence of the band.
Walking On The Wrong Side, the first single to be released from the album, begins with an upbeat instrumental and has a good combination of both reggae and soul music. It is a song which incorporates their original sound whilst at the same time, updating it.
Busy Busy Doing Nothing is instantly catchy with its chorus that will have you humming it to yourself, whilst Ranking Junior comes to the fore with his super fast rapping on Side To Side. Heaven Hiding is a delightful pop song and Work Work Work shows their political and social commentary side.
But it is their second single, Avoid The Obvious that is the stand out track on this album. The Beat have never been afraid to write a politically energized song and this is no exception. This track is a little bit indie, a little bit underground, but is certainly very commercial; bridging the gap between the two versions of the band.
This album is a repeat listener which will most certainly get your feet tapping. It is an excellent follow up to The Beat’s previous offerings; I Just Can’t Stop It, Wh’appen and Special Beat Service. It is just a pity that we have had to wait so long for it.
Our Rating: (5 / 5)