Friday, 12 July 2013

The Blow Monkeys 'It Doesn't Have To Be This Way'

Chart Peak: 5

Charted at No. 27 on 27th January, had sped to No. 5 by 10th February, finally giving the group a second hit to follow 'Digging Your Scene'.
As it turned out, those two songs remained the group's only Top 20 hits, though they also had a Top 10 single with 'Wait' which was credited to Robert Howard (aka Dr Robert, the lead singer) and Kym Mazelle.

An example of the politicised polished neo-soul sound of this era, sometimes called sophistipop, this was the first single from their anti-Thatcher concept album She Was Only A Grocer's Daughter. I presume that title wasn't supposed to sound as snobbish as it seems. Being relatively vague in lyrical content, it was more radio-friendly than much of the rest of the album. Rather too a fault, if anything, because it has a very smooth slick sound that makes it hard to be moved by it. It's catchy enough to be an understandable Top 5 hit, but it doesn't sound much like an insurrection. In all honesty it's a bit too platitudinous to be truly likeable, coming over as a bit self-satisfied and preachy. In fact I'm a bit surprised how little I like it, I always imagined they were better than this. Maybe it's just an unfortunate song choice for their only Now! appearance.

Available on: Halfway to Heaven: The Best of The Blow Monkeys and Dr Robert

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