The new album from Shaun Ryder, Visits From Future Technology
Wacky, upbeat, deranged, dark, and a bit of everything else. Shaun Ryder is back with his new solo album ‘Visits From Future Technology’, his second solo album after 2003’s ‘Amateur Night in the Big Top’. The new tunes were written years ago, but Ryder rediscovered them over the last 18 months, and is putting them out into the world with the help of producer Sunny Levine on 20th August via his new SWRX Recordings label.
For a while it seems that music hasn’t always been at the front of the Happy Mondays frontman’s mind. He’s never been too far out of sight, working with his second band Black Grape and becoming a bit of a TV personality through shows like I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and Celebrity Gogglebox.
Now, however, he’s properly back at it. Along with the new album, he’s touring with the Mondays and is rumoured to have a collaboration with Noel Gallagher coming in the near future.
Opening with the buoyant single ‘Mumbo Jumbo’, followed by the equally funky ‘Close The Dam’, Ryder makes the mood of the album clear from the get-go. The tongue-in-cheek lyrics and upbeat tone is a continuation of Ryder’s attitude of not taking himself too seriously. Fortunately for him, that’s exactly what makes his charm, and allows him to make music that’s so enticing.
Shaun himself said, talking about the album, ‘In my delusional ADHD brain it’s my Sgt. Pepper full of different flavoured songs’.
He’s not wrong either. ‘Popstar’s Daughters’ is an attempt to create a bit more of a sing-song tune than what we would usually get from Ryder, ‘Honey Put The Kettle On’ is an acoustic pop tune that creates a story out of the mundane elements of life, ‘Straighten Me Up’ takes on a 1970s guitar sound, and ‘Electric Scales’ is a rocked-up observation of a slither of the world’s madness. There’s a whole array of sounds, and it has something for everyone, because no two songs are the same.
Whilst some of the more exuberant and mischievous tracks are a fun listen, an extra layer is added in the songs where Ryder tackles some of the tougher times of his past. The pinnacle of this feeling is reached in ‘I Can Stop Anytime’, which seems to take on the Salford singer’s struggles with addiction. Shaun utters the words ‘you can’t change the mind, it’s the same one you had on the other side of the pond’. It seems a great deal of thought has been put into each and every word.
After the journey of songs, everything is rounded off with the trip hop track ‘Clubbing Rabbits’. This cements the diverse assortment of tunes we’ve been provided with.
These eleven tracks are an insight into Ryder’s mind. It moves through a mix of emotions, showing the world from his perspective.
Will we get more new solo work from Shaun Ryder? We didn’t think we’d get this one, so you never know. It might be a bit rough around the edges, and it might not all be your cup of tea, but what I do know is that it’s Shaun Ryder. There’s no mistaking that.
Stay tuned to RGM, we will be interviewing Shaun soon and getting his take on the new album. 👊