Review: Jack Foley
REVERED DJ and musician, Mousse T, is hitherto best known for
the cheesy pop singles, Horny and Sex Bomb (the latter featuring
Tom Jones), which isn't necessarily a great claim to fame.
All that changes with Right About Now, a collection of 12 tracks
which, according to the PR, shows 'a different side to Mousse,
a side of experimentation, variation and exploration, but with
his feet still placed firmly in 'the song'.
It also brings together a plethora of singers, each with their
own very individual styles, but which include the likes of ex-Strangler,
Hugh Cornwall, UK soul star, Andrew Roachford, horny vocalist,
Emma Lanford, and the multi talented Kathleen Chaplin (grand-daughter
of the great Charlie Chaplin) .
Hence, while there are moments of out-and-out cheese, there are
also Motown-laced blasts of sheer pop fun, coupled with some harder
dance anthems to boot.
The fun side of the album is best exemplified in recent single,
Is It 'Cos I'm Cool?, which really ups the funk to create
a dance classic that's really easy to shake your booty to.
Lanford's soul-laden, innocent vocals add a trendy Motown vibe,
while the backing melodies and bassline grooves contain shades
of Fatboy Slim, of the (ironically) Funk Soul Brother
Yet, it is a testament to Mousse's apparent willingness to mix
genres and experiment a little more that the album refuses to
rest on its laurels.
Following straight after Is It Cos I'm Cool, for instance,
is the brooding, soulful Sex Has Gone, featuring a blistering
vocal performance from Roachford (yes, he of Cuddly Toy
fame). It is during such moments that the album transcends its
mainstream elements, to appeal to a much wider fanbase.
Hence, you get the feeling that while Fatboy Slim prepares to
deliver his latest long-player, Mousse T provides a fitting alternative.
The good vibe is continued with the blissfully mellow By
Myself, featuring another strong vocal performance from Inaya
Day, while the bass-line laden Music Makes Me Fly contains
a retro-feeling that makes it easy to identify with.
The breezy Wow, which brings back the delicious vocal
talents of Lanford, contains shades of the Sugababes mixed with
Bananarama, while Lanford takes centre stage again with title
track, Right About Now, an altogether edgier, more sassy
affair, which contains the fantastic line, 'I wanna write your
name on my T-shirt, right about now'.
One of the most refreshing aspects of the album is that this
is a European album, from a German musical mastermind, that doesn't
sound like it should remain on the European continent.
It would happily find a place for itself among several musical
genres, while bringing a welcome party feel to just about any
Only Turn Me On and Monotony really disappoint
by either sounding too electronic/80s or ponderous, but it's a
small price to pay for an album which, on the whole, sets out
to have fun.
Hence, when Mousse poses the question, Is It 'Cos I'm Cool?,
you have to sort of agree, 'yes'.
1. Underground (with Hugh Cornwell)
2. Is It ‘Cos I’m Cool? (with Emma Lanford)
3. Sex Has Gone (with Roachford)
4. By Myself (with Inaya Day)
5. Music Makes Me Fly (with Amiel)
6. Wow (with Emma Lanford)
7. Turn Me On (with Kathleen Chaplin)
8. Right About Now (with Emma Lanford)
9. Monotony (with Calvin Lynch)
10. All Nite Madness (with Hanifah Walidah)
11. Bounce (with Dacia Bridges)
12. Just Look At Us Now (with James Kakande)