It’s hard to over-emphasise how massive Stereo MCs and their anthem ‘Connected’ were in the early 90s. Attempts to re-capture that golden age have been unsuccessful, which may explain why frontman Rob Birch has stopped rapping and started singing, and his partner Nick Hallam has turned from hip-hop to poppy funk-rock, somewhere between a noisier Jamiroquai and Groove Armada’s short-lived flirtation with big guitars. ‘Levitation’, for instance, sounds like the ballsy breakbeat beloved of Eddie Temple Morris, while ‘Boy’, is epic indie-pop. Stereo MCs remain a riveting live act but ‘Emperor’s Nightingale’ is a bemusing development.
Thomas H Green
File under Funky pop-rock
Download ‘Manner’, ‘Far Out Feeling’, ‘Tales’
Like this? Try Duran Duran ‘All You Need Is Now’ (Tape Modern)