Thursday, November 23, 2017

TERRY, BLAIR & ANOUCHKA-Ultra Modern Nursery Rhymes (1990)

ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: November 23, 2017

"Ultra Modern Nursery Rhymes"—with a quirky album title like that, one can only expect the music contained on it to be equally as such; for me, this was easily the most delightful listen I've had all week! The trio of Terry Hall, Blair Booth and Anouchka Grose are the collective voices behind these fun and super-catchy folk/pop tunes that take on a very bubblegummy, new-wavish persona all on their own. The opening track by the same name as the album itself sets the stage with his bouncy rhythm and sunny chorus, reminding me of some of those old 80's TV sitcom theme songs. In fact, when the lyrics themselves speak about how everything is happier just like in those old made-up nursery rhymes, I compared it to how the actual 80's decade itself made for some happy times.....and for me personally. "Missing" becomes quite the humorous sing-along once you get into the beat and the silly lyrics (the part about the dogs howling and the kids growling got me going).while the pleasantly colorful follow-up, "Fishbones And Scaredey Cats", just reels you in with the funky retro-pop vibe and the oddball, cheeky dialogue exchanged between Terry and the two ladies. The musical arrangements begin to shift on "Lucky In Luv", which has a cool jazzy swing to it with Terry making like one of those rockabilly crooners that make you feel like you've gone back into the Elvis era, before shifting again on the mellow, island-sounding breezes that are "Day Like Today" and "Three Cool Catz" (one I really liked because of the graceful instrumental ambiance, accented by the fluttery flute). That sunny, bouncy glow attracts me again on "Beautiful People" and "Happy Families", while it's the quirky lyrics keeping me hooked on "Just Go", which has that do-the-hokey-pokey, theatrical stage charm to it that makes me think about those children's PBS programs I grew up watching a long time ago. Additional props for "Just Go", as it's nice to hear somebody take a humorous, non-serious approach to presenting a breakup song. Then the concluding 'ultra modern nursery rhyme' is their modern-day take on the CAPTAIN & TENNILLE hit, "Love Will Keep Us Together". Actually, I hadn't realized it was a cover until I did some reading up about this trio.....and I want to say that I'd either never heard or had completely forgotten what the CAPTAIN & TENNILLE original sounded like? Regardless, the instantly-appealing, dancey piano rhythm is the reason I now adore this TERRY, BLAIR & ANOUCHKA version so much:

1. Ultra Modern Nursery Rhyme
2. Missing
3. Fishbones And Scaredey Cats
4. Lucky In Luv
5. Day Like Today
6. Sweet September Sacrifice
7. Beautiful People
8. Three Cool Catz
9. Happy Families
10. Just Go
11. Hush Hush Balooo
12. Love Will Keep Us Together

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