Album review – Poly Styrene


Poly Styrene -‘Generation Indigo.’ (Future Noise)

Oh God, I HATE it when this happens. Seriously.

I was really pleased when I heard Poly Styrene was returning to music, loving what she did as the frontwoman of X-Ray Spex. I loved the track she put out as a free download before Christmas -‘Black Christmas.’ And now here comes her comeback album -and to my horror, it just leaves me cold.

Don’t get me wrong – her voice sounds as awesome as ever, possibly even better than it did in the days of X-Ray Spex. What mystifies is why she has released a record that aims for Santigold’s debut -and ends up feeling like a collection of demos for a Bananarama album that was never released. The producer was Youth who has certainly shown that he can produce some excellent records.

Perhaps the problem is with the tunes which far too often sound like cheesy bubblegum pop, and not in a good way either. The lyrics are also quite poor in places -‘Kitsch’ actually manages to rhyme the title with ‘witch’ and ‘bitch’ which may not be as cliched as rhyming ‘fire’ with ‘desire’ but is hardly much better.

There are some great moments here – ‘White Gold’ Colour Blind’ and the fantastic anti-Iraq War ‘Code Pink Dub’. These tracks are definitely worth hearing -and I suppose in this download age, going and buying. But I can’t help wishing that Poly had explored more tracks in this vein. I hope that there will be another Poly Styrene solo album, because there is no question that she is talented and a legend. Unfortunately, too often this album doesn’t allow her to show this.


Generation Indigo is released on Future Noise on March 28.

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