sabato 29 agosto 2009

Dodgy "Real Estate"



Veleggia piatto e senza particolari sussulti questo disco dei Dodgy, che segnava la presenza del nuovo cantante David Bassett, in sostituzione dell'ottimo Nigel Clark. Rimpiazzo che esegue discretamente il suo lavoro, ma non siamo certo a gridare dalla gioia, in certi momenti mi sembra quasi di sentire Rod Stewart, mah. In realtà è proprio il gruppo che sembra aver perso quella vena melodica e scanzonata che era presente nei precedenti lavori e che comunque aveva trovato anche una buona maturità nel lavoro precedente. I Dodgy in questi ultimi 2 anni comunque sono tornati in pista con la formazione classica, yeahhh! (2001 Bostin)

Real Estate is Dodgy's fourth studio album and first without singer Nigel Clarke. Britpop's most Breakfast Show-friendly combo, Dodgy were always a great way to start the day, toe-tapping tunes like the unremittingly cheerful "Good Enough" and "Staying out for the Summer" inspiring the hungover to leap forth from the duvet and rip open the curtains with a zest for life. And then, in 1998, when Nigel departed for a solo career, no label would touch them and it seemed the sun wouldn't be shining for Dodgy anymore. Wrong. Newly swelled to a five-piece fronted by gravel-voiced David Bassett, Dodgy's latest studio album arrives bankrolled by the band's fanbase, who stumped up the cash for the album's entire recording budget. And even if the record doesn't sell a bean, those fans have been paid back with interest. Dodgy may have lost some of that boyish twinkle, but when faced with such maturely competent fare as the melodic white-soul of "I Need a Little Lifting", The Faces bar-room rock of "Vision" and new classic "Rag Doll" (played like a depressed version of Madness) it's hard to grumble about the "good old days". The albums' only blot is the experimental and thoroughly ridiculous "You Shouldn't Wear Shorts--a sort of Madchester version of the Bonzo Dog Band peforming Blur's Parklife--which well and truly catches Dodgy with their trousers down. (Kevin Maidment - http://www.amazon.co.uk/)

When they released their debut 'The Dodgy Album' in 1993, Dodgy looked like they were on their way to having it all. Frontman/bassist Nigel Clark -nice tunes, big hair- drummer, Matthew Priest -Keith Moon in a porkpie hat -and guitarist Andy Miller -quietly affable fella- were known as the clowns of Brit-pop - purveyors of fine Sixties scented summertime tunes who didn't take themselves or the 'business' too seriously.
Dodgy also liked their jazz cigarettes. Not for nothing was their second album called 'Homegrown'. They racked up hits such as 'Staying Out For The Summer', 'Good Enough' and 'In A Room'. Then their record label, A&M, was taken over by Polygram who in turn were swallowed up by Universal & Seagram. Dodgy were dropped and seemingly done for.
Now, thanks to the generosity of their fans -they contributed £10,000 to help the band record their new album- Dodgy are back on the market with 'Real Estate'. Priest and Miller remain but Clark has left and donated his hair to Toploader. He is replaced by one David Bassey -no relation to Welsh songstress Shirley- who sounds uncannily like David Essex. After this initial shock Dodgy, complete with new additions -bassist Nick Abnett (from The Aloof) and keyboard player Chris Hallam- get down to business serving up soulful, largely retro fare which sadly may not hold the attention of the fickle record buying public for too long.
Shame really for 'Real Estate' is not without its moments. 'Featherweight & Monkeyface' promises to take off to somewhere exotic, 'Vision' barrels along at a cracking pace, the Boo Radleys-esque 'Clean' positively shimmers and the remixed single 'Feather Cuts' throws some great big beat shapes.
As for the rest, well, they may yet find a home on Radio 2 but in today's UK garage and R&B fuelled world it may sound dated to some. Will this album relaunch the goodship Dodgy? Hopefully, but while a lot of effort has gone into building 'Real Estate', this particular property seems built on slightly shaky foundations. (Anthony Gibbons - http://uk.launch.yahoo.com)

- Featherweight & Monkeyface
- Come To Bed
- (We All Need A Little) Lifting
- Rag Doll
- Feel Good
- Vision
- You Shouldn't Wear Shorts
- Right Idea
- Clean
- Feather Cuts Remix
- Be Free


DODGY

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