The Modesty Blaise – Modesty Blaise (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

As soon as I Love You breaks cover and comes tumbling out of the speakers you are faced with a beguiling mix of nostalgic vibes and sonic modernity. It’s like Pulp had been formed during the Summer of Love or The New Seekers were a post-punk band, or that pop had taken an unexpected turning down a parallel leg of the flared trousers of time and it was bands like Jellyfish or Redd Kross rather than the Beatles, that had become the ultimate music icons.

Back with a third album after a two-decade hiatus, it is safe to say that The Modesty Blaise‘s arrival is a long-awaited sonic event, and the lead single, Girls Just Wanna Dance, was the perfect calling card for their recorded return. But one single, as brilliant as it might be, does not an album make. But it quickly becomes evident that Jonny Collins has lost none of the wit, charm and conciseness when it comes to penning a tune and the band are the perfect sonic springboard for bringing them to life.

From the understated and reflective tones of Come Lie Beside Me to the psychedelic disco of the aptly named Rollerdisco, from the bundle of energy and exuberance that is Out Tonight to the smooth, Bacharachian grooves of Pink Champagne on Mars (Return of The Uranium Girl,) it’s an album which covers a lot of sonic ground. But it does so with an exquisite charm and wonderful consistency.

The 21st century has proved a tough road for Modesty Blaise but that just makes their return and the delivery of this fantastic album, all the more wonderful.

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