I can see what Miss Black America were tying to do, they wanted to be the voice of the disaffected youth of today, sum up the mood of a million quashed teenage dreams and have the Daily Mail demonise them as inciting barely post pubescent depressives to acts of public disobedience. But where The Specials and The Jam (for example) had tapped the mood of a generation and arguably took music in new directions, MBA’s debut retreads old and dated ground.
There is a problem with is kind of music and that is that politics and music rarely mix well. The tune or the flow of the lyrics is so often stretched to breaking point by the weight of the message. Not so much here, although the views expressed are frequently expressed by laughable analogies. Leaning by rote is equated to indoctrination in the style of NAZI propaganda. I mean, seriously, that is just absurd. Like oh-so-many agit-popsters and protest song writers, Miss Black America end up sounding like whining malcontents with not only the weight of the world on their shoulders but the oppressive mass of the huge chips they have lodged there permanently.
Despite those problems this album is still pleasant, unobtrusive, and upbeat background music. Turned up a few notches on your stereo it has some numbers you can thrash about to (I hesitate to call the movements I make to music ‘dancing’ for fear of trading standards taking exception). The whole album would have benefited from being so much harder and up-front. God Bless Miss Black America is too much like a high fibre, low fat, and caffeine free rebellion. Too clean, too precise and way too sanitised. This album has ended up being a harmless piece of indie pop fluff rather than a riotous aural affront to the senses and the mind. It pulls back from the brink when it should soar triumphantly, and is blandly pedestrian when it should be building raw emotion.
If you have never heard any MBA then I can tell you that they are very much like Power Of Dreams and a bit like The Police (And not just the bit of ‘Message in a Bottle’ they have nicked wholesale – sorry, it’s probably paying homage – for the opener ‘Human Punk’),
All in all, it’s too nice. This could be down to their producers rather than the band. I have never seen them live, but don’t believe they would have the reputation they have without a far more powerful live set than this CD would have me imagine.
They sound like they have had a forced charisma-ectomy. 2/5
Label : Integrity Records
Release Date : Out Now
Website : www.missblackamerica.net
Car Crash For A Soul
Infinate Chinese Box
Scream For Me
Don’t Speak My Mind
Miss Black America