White Bread Black Beer

Studio Album by released in 2006

White Bread Black Beer review

An original mixture of pop of the 80s, post punk and hip-hop

The British band Scritti Politti has quite a long history during which front man Green Gartside twice took a rest from working in the band, the last one being almost for a decade. The members of the band initially were bassist Nial Jinks, drummer Tom Morley and Matthew Kay who played keyboards and later took the role of a manager. However as the time went by some guys left and others joined the band with only Gartside remaining its self-perpetuating leader. Scritti Politti’s style is just as not homogenious as its staff: having started as post punk rockers, they later turned to electro-pop and when Gartside got interested in hip-hop the band’s music acquired another direction. The band’s most successful album was Cupid & Psyche 85, a soulful synthesized funk record, and this year Scritti Politti releases a new creation White Bread, Black Beer, the inspiration for which Gartside got in his homeland, Wales. Nominated for Mercury Music Prize, the album presents an original mixture of pop of the 80s, post punk and hip-hop with Green Gartside’s unique vocals sounding as young and fresh as at the beginning of his career.

White Bread, Black Beer is a superb, reflective album

The whole White Bread, Black Beer sounds rather smooth and gentle only a few moments being a bit aggressive or highly emotional. The melodies are mostly pleasant sung in soft high tone vocals interrupted by unexpected distortions of the instrument sounding, which creates certain tension and does not let relax too much. The opener The Boom Boom Bap is very close to hip-hop if it were not for a beautiful soulful melody, while Snow In Sun has an interesting percussion part with the elements of xylophone. Cooking is one of the most emotional tracks on the album, especially in the respect of lexis used in it, and Throw has the amazing vocal and instrument harmonies with a stylish electronic drum beat. Dr. Abernathy, a beautiful acoustic ballad has a chance to become the new hit of Scritti Politti this year, and Petrococadollar sounds as a somewhat light and fragile dream, the song is quite sentimental albeit with a number of cynical self-criticizing thoughts. The funk style is most prominent on E Eleventh Nuts, a danceable electronic track, and the closer Robin Hood is another emotionalizer, a powerful ending of the superb, reflective album, White Bread, Black Beer.

Scritti Politti is back for good

There is not a lot of bands and especially front men so free of style restrictions as Scritti Politti and Green Gartside in particular. White Bread, Black Beer, the band’s fifth record, is a new combination of radically different music directions, a franker one and having more personal confessions of the band’s leader. Despite being over 50, Gartside has not only preserved his teenage sounding vocals but he still keeps experimenting with its possibilities and tries it in various styles too. After the second creative crisis he has rallied his thoughts and following the musical mainstream of nowadays produced a collection of unusually harmonious songs undefinable in style. The album was recorded at Gartside’s home studio and brings back the reminiscences of the Scritti Politti’s earlier works the base however having a most up-to-date sounding and suitable audio effects making White Bread, Black Beer one of the band’s best albums. Although the guys are not very fond of life performances for the front singer gets nervous on the stage, only listening to them is enough to enjoy the gorgeous music leaving no doubt that Scritti Politti is back for good.