Madness Liberty Of Norton Folgate
Spin: "It all looks back unabashedly -- fitting for a band formed 30-plus years ago -- but no less resonant."
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- Released: September 29, 2009
- Originally Released: 2009
- Label: Yep Rock Records
Rolling Stone - p.863 stars out of 5 -- "[A]n infectious love for their hometown and a sound that brings in soul, pop ballads, polka, Jamaica and Steely Dan makes this Wikipedia workout actually feel inclusive."
Spin - p.90"It all looks back unabashedly -- fitting for a band formed 30-plus years ago -- but no less resonant."
Uncut4 stars out of 5 -- "Ambitious, tuneful, exciting, wise, and with a finale that kicks them up a level into an undreamed-of musical dimension."
Record Collector (magazine) - p.934 stars out of 5 -- "At times it's classic Madness: opener 'We Are London' is brimming with brio, a call for togetherness and bristling with energy..."
- 2.We Are London
- 3.Sugar and Spice
- 4.Forever Young
- 5.Dust Devil
- 7.That Close
- 9.On the Town
- 11.Idiot Child
- 14.Clerkenwell Polka
- 15.The Liberty of Norton Folgate
Photographer: Paul Rider.
Madness never disappeared but they faded away, spending years playing summer festivals and other oldies venues befitting an act specializing in nostalgia, an impression that their 2005 covers album did nothing to assuage. All this makes this 2009 release--the band's first album of original material in ten years--to feel fully realized, even surprising. The element of surprise is not in the music, which is firmly within the 2-Tone tradition they laid down in the early '80s, but rather that they've found a way to deepen their nutty sound, to offer nothing less than a mature, middle-aged spin on 2-Tone. This album is about London, and is steeped in classic British pop, using the Kinks as ground zero for a series of wry, keenly observed pop songs about the people and places in London Town. While Madness may be trading on the sound that brought them to the top of the charts, it never sounds like a vain, desperate stab at reviving their youth; they play and write as the middle-aged men they are, finding sustenance within the music of their youth, then adapting it to their lives now, finding as much mirth as melancholy in what they see.
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