Man Like Me
It comes as no surprise to learn that Man Like Me will be supporting Madness come July – frontman Johnny Langer’s vocal delivery could almost be seen as a direct homage to Suggs. Musically, the album is packed with influences, notably Grime, Rave; Indie; Hip Hop and UK garage. A musical melting pot if there ever was one, I trust you’ll agree. Obviously, there’s nothing new in borrowing or being influenced by other artists – it’s a vital part of the creative process, albeit one with a thin and fragile line. Wearing your influences on your sleeve is one thing; painting them on with luminous paint is quite another altogether. Man Like Me positively glow in the dark. Being this deeply in debt to other styles does little to let Langer and co establish their own identity and sound, unless multi-scene infiltration is what they were attempting: in which case, they have succeeded admirably.
‘Doughnut’ boats a catchy chorus that could quite possibly be infecting the ear drums of thousands of teenage kids this year. The shameless ‘Single Dad’ is coated in Madness-laden hooks, brass stabs and most definitely will not be licensed by Fathers For Justice at any time soon. Trust me, you’ll either find yourself offering a wry grin at its sheer audacity or within moments you’ll wish you had a hunting knife with which to shear both ears off – either way it will incite a reaction
The likable ‘Booze’ is destined to become a Friday and Saturday night high street anthem, it’s “999 on a Friday night/Sirens scream and flashing light/Boozed up boys in city centres/Confrontation through the nation” stands out as a definite album highlight. ‘Carny’ is another to pick out, being a party anthem that is slightly reminiscent of The Twang at their harmonious best.
There are too many weak and throwaway tracks on Man Like Me to honestly recommend it to anyone. For every ‘Booze’ or ‘Carny’ there are two or three tracks that quite simply don’t deliver or offer anything other than half-baked ideas and poorly executed production. It’s fun for a while, but so is swearing at policemen; ultimately, it’s just a silly thing to do.