After the very successful Screamadelica, Primal Scream needed to keep on going in the world of music. This album, released three years after Screamadelica, has the infamous Confederate Flag on the front cover. This is the flag of the pro-slave states in the USA during their civil war. In any case, let’s take a listen to this album and see if it is any good today musically.
We begin with Jailbird which has guests George Drakoulias and David Bianco. It begins with some guitar riffs and electronic drumbeats that sound really excellent. The singing by Bobby Gillespie here is really excellent, and this is a superb song with horns and female backing vocals. A great tune to hear, this is uplifting and danceable, too. A great piece of music, and a fine start to the album. There are bongo beats and organ here as well towards the end. The singing in the outro is infectious. Great song.
Following is Rocks which has the same guests from the first track on it. It begins with crashing drums and some awesome electric guitar sounds, and lyrics about drugs. It has more female backing vocals, and also some similar instrumentation to the first track. This is one of the greatest pro-drug songs out there and sounds amazingly top. Even if you are not using drugs, this sounds fantastic. There is an awesome guitar solo in the middle here. The chanted singing in the second half is really awesome. Nice tune.
(I’m Gonna) Cry Myself Blind features guests Denise Johnson, George Clinton, George Drakoulias and David Bianco. It is an acoustic guitar-driven piece that has a beautiful piano in it. This is a song about a breakup and is very sad to hear lyrically. Musically, it sounds ironically uplifting. Another decent song to listen to, this is superb. An excellent song about the hurt and pain one can experience in said scenario. Great song.
Funky Jam features Denise Johnson, George Clinton, Mike E. Clark and M.E.C. This begins with some excellent vocals encouraging the listener to get funky and bongo beats, before some funky wah-wah guitar and bass to make you move enter. Some horns and other textures also join in, and we have a sleazy, Disco influenced song. This is an awesome song to hear, with various call-and-response style vocals here. This is a really awesome listening experience and sounds cool and unique. Towards the end is some excellent Funk style guitar, deep basslines and reversed drum sounds, before everyone joins in towards the end. Fantastic.
Following is Big Jet Plane which begins with some nice acoustic and electric guitars. Bobby Gillespie sings superbly here. This song is a slower, but not in any way dull, listening experience. This album has a more traditional Rock feel to it than Screamadelica, and this song is an example of that. There is a beautiful saxophone solo in this track that just sounds wonderful here. Some good lyrics about returning home to healing hands and the promised land are here. Rather repetitive towards the end, but still a good song to hear. Awesome.
Next is Free which features Denise Johnson, George Clinton, Mike E. Clark and M.E.C. This begins with sleazy saxophone, some muted guitar parts (both electric and acoustic) and other brilliant musical touches. Denise Johnson sings wonderfully here and shows that women indeed can sometimes sing better than men do and that their place in the music industry is underrepresented. Still, an underrated song from an underrated album here. The lyrics talk about heartbreak and breakup here. Drums kick into the second half, and this piece sounds really excellent from start to finish. Nice tune from start to finish, although the subject matter is quite dark.
Call On Me has a counted intro, before going into a fairly straightforward Rock piece with Bobby Gillespie singing again. This has a similar feel to the songs earlier on this album, although is more guitar-oriented with loud amplified electric guitars. Still, this is a good listen regardless, although maybe not as strong as the tracks before it. The midsection has some piano and organ to match, along with some female backing vocals. Good song. The outro has some crashing drum beats.
Struttin’ has guest Brendan Lynch here. It begins with some bluesy guitar playing, a sitar sound and other interesting musical elements to boot. This gradually goes into a lengthy Rock jam. This song is eight minutes long, so strap in your ears and here we go. A funky bassline drives this piece along, with elements of electronic sound moving in and out of your ears. A good Rock instrumental jam that must have taken a lot of effort to complete, this is really great. An interesting and top listen by Primal Scream, this is a great fusion of a Rock jam with Electronic sounds. Some far-out keyboard sounds are programmed into this catchy Rock groove. A descending guitar melody enters, along with some real science fiction sounds in the second half of the track, before going into some nimble bass playing, then going straight back into the jam. A surreal adventure into a different headspace. The track winds down nicely towards the end, with the nimble bass playing, before finishing quietly.
Following is Sad and Blue which features dual acoustic guitars, one being a slide guitar being played. Bobby Gillespie sings about missing a lover in his life. There are organ and harmonica in this, making this piece rather reminiscent of southern USA music. An excellent listen, there is a harmonica solo rather than a guitar solo here. A fantastic listen for a love song, this is top. It fades out nicely.
The title track Give Out But Don’t Give Up features George Clinton, Mike E. Clark and M.E.C. It begins with some heavy bass/guitar sounds, snappy drumbeats and some awesome wind instruments here. Female singing then enters here, before male singing enters to sing the main part of the song. Kind of odd-sounding, this is a good piece of music. It sounds like a sleazy, funky sort of track that one may play to seduce a lover. It is a longer piece from this album, at around six minutes long. It has a vaguely Psychedelic feel to it but sounds excellent, all the way through. A tremendous listening experience. There are backwards guitars here towards the end. A good song that could have been edited in length somewhat, however.
I’ll Be There For You begins with some gentle guitar playing and piano to boot. It has some really beautiful melodies here. Bobby Gillespie sings from the heart here and sounds like he is very much deeply in love with somebody when singing. A nice and gently relaxing listening experience towards the end of this album, this is really top. A nicely constructed piece of music, the piano here is simply gorgeous. A great piece from a great album. The guitar solo here is wonderful and very enjoyable. A very fine listen, the instrumentation here is awesome. The guitar playing at the end is nice.
Everybody Needs Somebody comes last on this album. It begins with strummed acoustic guitars, beautiful electric guitar melodies and Bobby Gillespie singing nicely. It eventually kicks into a nice Rock groove that is laidback and melodic. This is a really great listen, and a nice addition to the end of this superb album. Catchy, beautiful and enjoyable here. A very good piece of strong sounding music, with the repeated phrase in the second half, “We’ve got to get together, babe”. Nice tune and an enjoyable listen. It fades out gently.
This is an underrated album to what Screamadelica could be considered as “overrated”. Still, its diversity and musicality make this a very enjoyable listen. It sounds as amazing today as it did on its release in 1994. Look past the rather offensive album cover and take a listen to this album if you liked Screamadelica.