It’s rather fitting that, given the discussion of post-punk in this column, the pick of the week should be something akin to “post-pop.” Already secure as one of the 1990’s best pop bands and not content to rest on the laurels of 1995 smash hit “Wake Up Boo!”, the Boo Radleys have proven their amazing creative mettle on Kingsize.
More eclectic, experimental and forceful than any of their previous work, Kingsize expands pop’s horizons with bold arrangements and clever juxtapositions of orchestral and electronic elements. The lead-off track “Blue Room In Archway” sets the tone with a sound that is like Oasis crossed with Aphex Twin, while “Free Huey” revels in pure British big beat reminiscent of The Space Monkeys and Asian Dub Foundation.
Traditional pop is well represented with songs like “High As Monkeys” and “Kingsize”—all Beach Boys harmonies, string quartets and Oasis-style guitar riffs—but like The Beautiful South, The Boo Radleys always manage to throw in a subversive lyric or two. You know you’re not dealing with the average pop when you get great lyrics like, “In times of need nothing is received/because politics is power/And power is a daily need.”