Skunk Anansie
Stoosh


3.0
good

Review

by DaveyBoy STAFF
August 3rd, 2008 | 15 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Tones down the preaching and shows signs of maturity through better ballads, but does not improve on the band's debut due to inconsistency & the lack of genuinely memorable standout tracks.

With a rock band containing a singer that well and truly stands out from the crowd and a concentration on controversial political lyrics, is it any wonder that Rage Against The Machine producer Garth Richardson wanted to be involved with English 4 piece Skunk Anansie" Following their very good debut 'Paranoid & Sunburnt', the band return here with the always difficult 2nd album 'Stoosh'.

In interviews following the success of their debut, the band tried to distance themselves from being political. Yet, what do they go and name this album's opener; 'Yes Its F**king Political'. A track not entirely dissimilar to the opener from 'Paranoid...' ('Selling Jesus'), the point is clearly made here but the end result isn't exactly outstanding. In fact, Skin's vocals verge on grating during this track, which is disappointing since she is such a major part of the band as a whole.

Strangely (& fortunately) enough, Richardson's production doesn't lead the band down the controversial and preachy political leanings of the debut and if anything it is toned down here, with only the so-so 'We Love Your Apathy' encroaching on the same territory elsewhere. It seems that Richardson was more concerned with ensuring the guitar was more prevalent on ‘Stoosh’, even if it really does not add a whole lot more to the equation.

First single 'All I Want' is the attempt to remake Paranoid's standout 'I Can Dream' and while it does have a good rock melody about it, it falls short due to a relative lack of depth, less sing-along factor and Skin's want for extravagance. The balance is achieved better with track 6 'Twisted (Everyday Hurts)' which was indeed the 2nd release from this album. 3rd single 'Hedonism (Just Because You Feel Good)' is also superior due to its melody combining well with the lyrical exploration of a past relationship's current unknown life.

Surprisingly though, this album excels at something you wouldn't even think the band capable of pulling off; Ballads. Two particularly stand out and it is a genuine shock to see Skin control her vocals so well to make these both so emotional and involving. The 6 minute atmospheric track 4 'Infidelity (Only You)' works extremely well in combination with track 8 'Brazen (Weep)' which was released as the 4th single. Both cuts are effectively strings-assisted yet stand out on their own well enough.

The final 3 tracks of the album are all experimental to a certain extent and do add variety if not genuine quality. The strangely effective 2 minute acoustic ballad 'Pickin On Me' concerns a reasoning for schoolyard bullying, while the bass-driven satirical closer 'Glorious Pop Song' firmly has its tongue placed in its cheek. The song title combines with pop harmonies and some uncharacteristic "na na na nas" to help highlight the repetitively melodic chorus of "You're Still A F**ker"! It is a gimmicky track, but actually works rather well as a smile-inducing finale. It is all a huge shame that the awful 'Milk Is My Sugar' is placed in between these 2 songs and the less said about this penultimate track, the better.

For various reasons, British bands in general seem to have a difficult time replicating the success of a debut album with their follow-up. While Skunk Anansie can now be placed in the same grouping as 'Stoosh' does not improve on the quality of 'Paranoid & Sunburnt', the band does showcase sufficient maturation as well as further talent and potential. Unfortunately, this effort seems a bit rushed (the albums were released only a year apart) and inconsistent with the lack of memorable tunes and the absence of a genuine quality standout hurting it.

Recommended Tracks: Twisted (Everyday Hurts), Brazen (Weep) & Infidelity (Only You).



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Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 3rd 2008


22486 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ok, I'm unsure about the order of that track listing in the top right hand corner of this page. That definitely isn't the order on the physical album that I have.

SHOOTME
August 3rd 2008


2393 Comments


another good review.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 4th 2008


22486 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks... Whatever your name is now... Maxwell!?!?!?

SHOOTME
August 4th 2008


2393 Comments


That is seriously my name, but back in the day I was kind of just toying around with the screen name thing. I had fun while it lasted.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 4th 2008


22486 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Haha. Now that you have got better in reviewing, you are finally using your real name. Actually, that makes sense.

Iai
Emeritus
August 13th 2008


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Tracklisting on here is the American version, every other country has a listing that starts with "Yes It's Reasonably Political".



Probably said this in your other review, but I can't believe that "Hedonism" is not one of your recommended tracks, it's one of the best singles of the 90s. Aside from that I agree.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 14th 2008


22486 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ahh, the American re-jig of the track ordering strikes again. I seriously don't see why so many albums do that, but anyway.

I know this sounds convenient, but along with your much-liked track of 'Weak' on the band's debut, 'Hedonism' missed out on the recommended tracks here by a bees d!ck. I prefer the similar 'Twisted' which has a little more bite to it for mine, while I felt both of the 2 slower tracks beared mentioning.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 21st 2008


22486 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ok, who negged out of nowhere...???

AnvilJ
August 21st 2010


124 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

For me the sequencing of the ballads and rockers just didn't fit.



Some of the rock singles were a little weak (Twisted, All I Want) compared to the first 3 songs. She is My Heroine, Milk Is My Sugarl and Glorious Pop Song were the highlights for me.



They can write better songs than this as evidenced on the B-Sides. I would hope they get angrier on their reformation.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 23rd 2010


22486 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Oh yeah, it had totally slipped my mind that they had reformed. I definitely hope that there is an album to be released as a result & it's not just a batch of live shows.

TheNotrap
January 14th 2012


9310 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

My favourite Skunk Anansie.

YES IT’S FUCKING POLITICAL

Digging: Burning Witches - Hexenhammer

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2012


22486 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think the power in the way Skin sings that line deserves the extra font size.



I like all the songs with brackets in their title the best here.

SanguineCream
December 13th 2013


613 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nice review, you hit the nail on the head. P&S is a majorly underrated alt rock album and has the

better stand-outs. "Weak" will always be their best track - from P&S. Love "All I Want" and "Hedonism"

though



EDIT: i own the Australian cd (Original track-listing) but I actually prefer the U.S. ordering

gocsa666
November 13th 2018


314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They just couldn't get the formula down for a whole album, could they. This is about the same level as their debut: it improved on a bunch of aspects from that album but also got worse in others so in the end it was still a couple of really great songs, some good and the rest is generic filler...

osmark86
November 13th 2018


7730 Comments


just because it feels GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD



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