Goldie Lookin' Chain Greatest Hits Review

Album. Released 2004.  

BBC Review

It would be easy to view GLC as puerile, immature and filthy mouthed; easy, yes, and...

Adam Cumiskey 2004

Funny songs? They're difficult. A good album is played endlessly, a good joke can still only be told a few times. Remember Weird Al Yankovitz? He was a mullet-headed American version of Jonathan King who sang "Eat It" to the tune of Michael Jackson's "Beat It". Many people found it funny at the time; now, years later, if you said you were listening to it, you'd be the joke.

Will the same fate befall Goldie Lookin Chain? It's likely, but that's no reason not to laugh now. The joke is simple: a rap collective from Newport. The joke may be funny, but all jokes have a shelf life. It would be easy to view GLC as puerile, immature and filthy mouthed;easy, yes, and accurate too, but not the whole story.

Mike Skinner's A Grand Dont Come For Free documents inner city frustrations and the detail of urban life. GLC attempt something similar but from a Welsh, unemployed, dope-fuelled perspective. The collective is at its best when it dispenses with crude shocks like "Your Mothers GotA Penis", and goes surreal. "Half Man Half Machine" is the album's highlight. The tale of a man dressing as a robot to buy some fags has some cracking lines: it's not often you hear of a fella sticking a 'Speak and Spell' to his chest.

GLC laden their lyrics with a bucket of early eighties references than ensure anyone in their late twenties will be given a slightly nostalgic buzz. This isn't the world of the iPod, it's the world of the ZX Spectrum and the BBC Micro. The lyrics ring true, but in an already outdated way. Like the technology, things have moved on in other ways. It's unfortunate that GLC arrive on the scene when British rap is anything but a joke. Today,The Streets and Dizzee Rascal are serious contenders in a UK genre that was previously previously a bit of alaugh.

It's likely (and fair) that Dizzee and Skinner will be around much longer than GLC. Enjoy them while you can. Morris Minor and the Majors anyone?

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