PILLS 'N' THRILLS AND BELLYACHES


::REVIEWS::

+All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine+

A swirling, neo-psychedelic kaleidoscope of hallucinogenic drugs, trippy beats, borrowed hooks, and veiled threats, Pills 'n' Thrills & Bellyaches is Happy Mondays' masterpiece and the peak of the entire Madchester craze. Where the Stone Roses were pop classicists, Happy Mondays pushed pop into the ecstasy age. The Mondays' cut-and-paste rhythms and melodies are clearly influenced by hip-hop and electronic dance music, and their songs have the same sort of twisted internal logic, subverting conventional pop song structures while reinterpreting oldies, occasionally stealing entire songs and claiming them as their own (John Kongos' "He's Gonna Step on You Again" is transformed into "Step On," LaBelle's "Lady Marmalade" provides the basis for "Kinky Afro"). Most of the musical collage is the creation of producers Paul Oakenfold and Steve Osborne, but the vision of Pills 'n' Thrills & Bellyaches belongs to Shaun Ryder, who reveals himself as a surreally gifted lyricist. Lifting melodies at will, Ryder paints a bizarre vision of modern urban life, fueled by sex, drugs, violence, and dead-end jobs and instead of lamenting the state of affairs, he celebrates them in his hoarse, arrhythmic, tuneless holler. His thuggishly surreal sense of humor and appropriation of hooks became enormously influential on British rock & roll in the '90s, particularly on Oasis' sense of style. Stephen Thomas Erlewine
+Anonymous Public Reviews+

:: "Can any album beat this? From the absolutely superb Kinky Afro, right through to the sample mad Harmony, this album is a must for all indie fans, guitarists and anyone who appreciates good music. Its mad melodies will be etched into your memory for weeks to come. Step On, Loose fit, Kinky Afro and Holiday are the stand-out tracks for me, but this goes down as a classic album"

:: "I love this album! Groovy, lazy and mad - this album, along with the Stone Roses self titled album, personifies the Madchester movement of the late eighties early nineties. Shaun Ryders vocals (if you can call them that) are not conventional which is absolutely perfect for this cd."

:: "Shaun Ryder's greatest achievement (along with his second band, Black Grape's It's Great When You're Straight) and one of the cornerstones of early 90's psychedelic music in Manchester. It is kind of surprise to notice how Pills 'n Thrills and Bellyaches reminds Primal Scream's Screamadelica, but Happy Mondays were year ahead of them, yet still Primal Scream got most of the respect and Happy Mondays were left behind. That is the impression I have, 'cos almost everyone knows Screamadelica, but not many knows this album/band so well.

:: "Maybe this has something to do with my location or something like that. Here in Finland Happy Mondays is quite unknown band and I had some prejudices towards this record, but while listening to this I have to admit I liked it. The sound is groovy, druggy and funky that gets you really good mood and it's not hard to belive that this kind of music worked/still works in a club where people gather to dance and/or getting high etc. Even some of the lyrics courage to do sort of things people tend to do when they're drunk or high, for example "Bob Yer Uncle" has this line: 'Four fall in a bed, three giving head, one getting wet'. When I first heard it I had to smile, something in those phrase was so stupid, yet funny and clever.
I don't mean to preach or anything like that, 'cos I truly enjoyed this album, it got me in good mood, tapping my fingers in the rhythm of the music and what's most important: it made me smile and that was the whole meaning of this album! So no need to complain. Check tracks "Kinky Afro", "God's Cop" and "Loose Fit" to make your mind. I have already made mine."

:: "Shaun Ryder's greatest achievement (along with his second band, Black Grape's It's Great When You're Straight) and one of the cornerstones of early 90's psychedelic music in Manchester. It is kind of surprise to notice how Pills 'n Thrills and Bellyaches reminds Primal Scream's Screamadelica, but Happy Mondays were year ahead of them, yet still Primal Scream got most of the respect and Happy Mondays were left behind. That is the impression I have, 'cos almost everyone knows Screamadelica, but not many knows this album/band so well.

Maybe this has something to do with my location or something like that. Here in Finland Happy Mondays is quite unknown band and I had some prejudices towards this record, but while listening to this I have to admit I liked it. The sound is groovy, druggy and funky that gets you really good mood and it's not hard to belive that this kind of music worked/still works in a club where people gather to dance and/or getting high etc. Even some of the lyrics courage to do sort of things people tend to do when they're drunk or high, for example "Bob Yer Uncle" has this line: 'Four fall in a bed, three giving head, one getting wet'. When I first heard it I had to smile, something in those phrase was so stupid, yet funny and clever.

I don't mean to preach or anything like that, 'cos I truly enjoyed this album, it got me in good mood, tapping my fingers in the rhythm of the music and what's most important: it made me smile and that was the whole meaning of this album! So no need to complain. Check tracks "Kinky Afro", "God's Cop" and "Loose Fit" to make your mind. I have already made mine."
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