Friday, September 2, 2016

SCRITTI POLITTI-Provision (1988)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: September 2, 2016

Speaking of weird synthpop music..... I'd been telling myself for many weeks that I would divert my attention back to the British synthpop bunch responsible for the highly-addicting hits that I continue to favorite even unto this day: "Perfect Way", "Absolute" and "Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin)" (I'll never forget the humorous complete working title to that third one). Besides, it had literally been years until I devoted any listening time to a full SCRITTI POLITTI album. So I provided myself with about 40 minutes of Green Gartside and company with "Provision", their third an final album released by them back in the awesome 80's. Yeah, awesome is right, as I quickly recalled why 80's synthpop music is so awesome indeed the moment I skipped to the track that I've always remembered the most: "First Boy In This Town (Lovesick)". It was those hard vamps in the beat immediately following Greens delivery of 'I was the first boy in this town to love you, little girl' and the backup vocalists' chiming in with their bit of stylized retro barbershop harmony in the main chorus that gets me hooked! And where does the weirdness come in? Well, that would be in both Green's wise way with words and his distinctively light vocals, which I admit I had to take a few minutes to get used to before it all became second nature to me again. After that, it was fun times going back to these familiar songs and re-experiencing them for the first time in ages. "Boom! There She Was": I recall being drawn to the 'boom!' in the title, then realized that SCRITTI POLITTI songs always had either weird or interesting titles, which often plays a big part in me liking a song before I even actually get into it. It's 80's synthpop right to the tee, and I very much welcomed the voice box vocal effects in the midway break that made me conjure up flashbacks of the ZAPP/Roger hits "Computer Love" an "I'll Be Your Man", for a brief spell. Best Thing Ever": I remember this one vividly, particularly because of the beat, which features some really good bass and a catchy, feel-good main chorus. "Oh Patti (Don't Feel Sorry For Loverboy)": Another with a captivating title, I remember this sweet, moving ballad quite well, even if some of the lyrics felt unfamiliar. And because I had this entire "Provision" album available while I was listening, I suddenly became aware of this song's extended version, which I will surely have to make a part of my special 'Easy Listening Mix' playlist of favorites. Beyond that aforementioned quartet are all of the songs I had totally forgotten about, beginning with "Overnite", which is quite the charming slow number that brings to mind any of those starry tunes with the soft rock radio glow. "All That We Are" is pure delight, and it too has become a new favorite, thanks to the super-catchy beat and Green's repeated words of 'nothing compares with the love we have now' embedded in the chorus. "Bam Salute": I suppose this one's more evidence of that SSCRITTI POLITTI weirdness, as I haven't quite figured out what the actual 'bam salute' is. It'll require more listens from me—if not for that reason, then because of the reggae-inspired bounce to the synthopop beat that draws me to the music here. Ah, nice comeback with the voice box vocal effects on "Sugar And Spice", which does indeed get spiced up with the ZAPP/Roger robots chiming in with the funky 'sugar and spice and everything nice' line. Then there's one that stands as one more reason why I keep on missing 80's pop music: "Philosophy Now". ' Don't need cardiology to have a change of heart '—where else are you gonna hear lyrics like that?. Love the beat (which had been the recurring theme since "First Boy In This Town (Lovesick)", and I adore Green's delivery of ' 'Cause I want you baby, I do want you baby '. So now that I've gotten re-schooled on SCRITTI POLITTI, I now provide you with the same "Provision" that led to my own attendance—class is back in session:

1. Boom! There She Was
2. Overnite
3. First Boy In This Town (Lovesick)
4. All That We Are
5. Best Thing Ever
6. Oh Patti (Don't Feel Sorry For Loverboy)
7. Bam Salute
8. Sugar And Spice
9. Philosophy Now
10. Oh Patti [Extended]
11. Boom! There She Was [Dub]

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