Graham Reid | | 1 min read
The voice, face and braces of X-Ray Specs back in the punk era, Poly Styrene had a sassy line in probing and poking at convention (even the codes of punk) and despite an intermittent career ever since she bounces back with this often satirical album driven by techno-beats and Seventies synths.
She nails relationships on the internet (Virtual Boyfriend), the consumer socity (I Luv Ur Sneakers) and on Kitsch (which borrows heavily from Pseudo Echo's Funky Town) defends and confronts any criticism that she might be "just a little bit kitsch".
There's a solid retro-New Wave and kitsch sound everywhere here -- song titles reflect that eg L.U.V -- coupled with a bit of dub and dancehall toasting.
The title track is a bit in the manner of "what we need is a great big" Melting Pot (Generation Indigo is the mixed race future) as is Colour Blind (which are noble enough sentiments though although runs contrary to people embracing their race and culture).
But every now and again (as on Ghoulish where she tells a Goth that beneath it all she feels he's quite a nice guy) this does come off as Aunty Poly taking a few shots at the young or obvious targets: "Boys with toys are running our world" isn't exactly the most original insight, even while nailing "trustafarians".
The whole widescreen guitars and synth crash here sounds enjoyably and willfully dated (or fresh and new if you didn't get the first time round) but while Poly brings wit and focus to her New Wave reggae-pop you'd hard say it was a thrilling comeback.
Like the sound of this? Then try this.
Poly Styrene died of cancer in April 2011, a month after the release of this album. She was 53.