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X-Press 2 - Makeshift Feelgood

X-Press 2, Makeshift Feelgood

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

ROCKY, Diesel and Ashley Beedle, the creative brains behind dance act X-Press 2, had been away for a while, sweating in the DJ trenches and frequenting international clubs aplenty, before releasing their latest album, Makeshift Feelgood earlier this year.

Four years after they – and David Byrne – swaggered to Number Two in the charts with Lazy, then waltzed home with an Ivor Novello Award, the X-Press 2 trio were back.

But while Makeshift Feelgood, the follow-up to the 100,000 selling Muzikizum, certainly had some moments to rival the brilliance of Lazy, it lacked something to make it truly special as a dance album.

Kicking off with the rather excellent Kurt (Lambchop) Wagner collaboration Give It, and its sombre piano notes and gospel-backed chorus (“I guess I should give it a little more time”), the album then proceeds to deliver the equally memorable Tim De Laughter collaboration Witchi Tai To.

That track served as a nice contrast to the moody heights set by Give It, bouncing along on a whirlwind of lush electronics, Mr Scruff style scratching and catchy beats. De Laughter’s distinct vocals added a welcome touch of the Polyphonic Spree about them.

Sadly, from such a cracking start, the rest of the album fails to maintain such high standards.

Collaborations with Kissing The Pink on Enjoy The Ride, Light My Soul, The Answer and Last Man conform to a heavier, more generic dance sound that’s far more geared towards pleasing the masses rather than attempting anything innovative.

Another former single Kill 100, featuring Rob Harvey, does at least serve as a welcome break from the Kissing The Pink numbers and is a much more lively dance track.

But one can’t help but pine for the really imaginative numbers and extra input from Messrs De Laughter and Wagner who might have turned an album that is merely enjoyable into something truly special.

But then isn’t that the case with so many contemporary dance albums?

Track listing:

  1. Give It – X-Press 2 & Kurt Wagner
  2. Witchi Tai To – X-Press 2 & Tim De Laughter
  3. Enjoy The Ride – X-Press 2 & Kissing The Pink
  4. Fellow Cutie – X-Press 2
  5. Don’t Make Me Wait – X-Press 2 & Bernard Fowler
  6. Kill 100 – X-Press 2 & Rob Harvey
  7. 17 – X-Press 2 & Anthony Roman
  8. Light My Soul – X-Press 2 & Kissing The Pink
  9. Answer – X-Press 2 & Kissing The Pink
  10. Last Man – X-Press 2 & Kissing The Pink