Happy 5th Quarter, Skunk Anansie ! In 1994, one of the most individualized bands the music business ever had was founded in London. At the instrumental level, a tightrope walk between Rock, Indie, Metal, Alternative and Brit-Pop – vocally refined with a black soul voice that can also rock and also has political sayings. In the 25 years, there were six studio albums, a best of, an acoustic live record, almost ten years break, little bad headlines and solo projects, but ultimately just great music. To celebrate the due, follows suit to the 25th anniversary on 25.1. a live CD with – you guessed it already – 25 tracks! But … actually 26. But more on that later.
Almost two hours of live music on two CDs. That sounds delicious. Then you look at the tracklisting, you get really hungry. It’s not that easy to pick the right one out of six albums. Fortunately, the Skunk Anansie succeeds here almost completely. The gentle grumbler will probably say: “The tracklist already existed on the” Smashes & Trashes “- Greatest hits” – that’s right! Except for three songs, the songs were virtually taken over. “And then there was already a live CD that had almost the same tracklist!” – that’s right! Again, 12 of the 18 songs of the “An Acoustic Skunk Anansie” are the same. So where is the nutritional value?
At first, of course, it’s a gift for the band birthday. Furthermore, it’s really the first live release that presents the band’s regular rocking sound. Since the acoustic disc was rather the ride. Thus, you get a updated Best Of with a handful of newer tracks on top and above all a rich sound, which pepper well. “25Live @ 25” proves that Skunk Anansie is a band that’s really (!) Good. Almost every title is live as reproduced and comes very close to the studio version. The guys do their work on the instruments exquisitely and Frontwoman Skin … yes, Skin just makes you RIGHT out. Although it is not a complete live concert but more of a collage, so you have to be careful with the superlatives, but: the vocal performance of Skin is world class. End of the discussion. You can hear that it is a real live recording and not 7838 things were changed and edited again. If you pay attention to this aspect, you will not be able to get out of it soon. Tonale perfection, grandiose emotion and dizzying heights, lengths of sounds and … just everything! Breathtaking.
To come back to the setlist anyway – “25” is a little cheated. With “You’ll Follow Me Down” there is a bonus track and thus 26 songs. Somewhat inconsistent. Still a good thing, as it’s a true Skunk Anansie classic. It is always a pity that tens of thousands of people do not immediately say the name Skunk Anansie . “Just because you feel gooooood” – oh, they are! Yes. Exactly. And they have about 20 similarly cool songs. The omnipresent “hedonism” from the second album “Stoosh” is of course just as start as other tracks that are worth discovering, if they were denied a previously so: the probably second most known killer “Weak” has not lost in genius and combines great imagery with a melody to fall in love and the desire to shout out everything. “I Can Dream” sounds like live here as never before. “Twisted (Everyday Hurts)” and “My Ugly Boy” are just kidding. “Selling Jesus” was the first single to do a stroke of genius and still goes really steep today. Unfortunately, there were few highlights on the last two albums, so that they also find little space on the live CD, although with “Love Someone Else”, “Spit You Out” and “Death To The Lovers” have managed three of the best , “Squander” has the potential to become one of the biggest rock ballads of the last decades and needs much more attention. On top of that you can find some clear statements in “Little Baby Swastikkka”, “Yes, It’s Fucking Political” or “Intellectualise My Blackness”.
What exactly prevents the record from being perfect? Unfortunately, two extremely good singles are missing: “Brazen (Weep)” and “I Believed In You”. Also, “We Do not Need Who You Think You Are” or “She’s My Heroine” might have been nice, but the aforementioned ones really hurt a bit. Instead, no-names like “Without You”, “My Love Will Fall” or the somewhat stressful “This Is Not A Game” are superfluous. But you have to live with that now. In addition, one could now accuse the recordings that they are no offer new arrangements, but just as possible orientate on the original songs, without endless guitar solos or freestyle parts. But that’s a matter of taste and from another perspective also impressive, that a lot of live 1: 1 works so.
Conclusion: “25Live @ 25” sound technically could no longer pay homage to the anniversary of the band. The song selection is great except for little things and Skin is just a vocal machine. Classic skirt that is handmade, touched and has not lost any of its intensity even after so many years. And those who still do not have Skunk Anansie have their biggest chance here. Please take note!
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