Kula Shaker

Strangefolk

1969-12-31

It’s kind of amazing how the spirit of rock music can still be tapped into with bravura some five decades after its inception. The White Stripes’ White Blood Cells is a great example. It’s a rock album, through and through, to its core, and there’s no arguing it. In its own way, Kula Shaker’s Strangefolk is just as much a rock album as White Blood Cells, but it’s a bit more elusive. The songs here tend to arch towards times uncertain, as opposed to the past. Of course, there are some exceptions. There’s nothing forward-leaning about songs like “Fool That I Am” or “Great Dictator (of the Free World)” (the latter track contains a chorus with an unsurprising play on words), but they’re still enjoyable. Then there’s the other songs, which are sometimes little more than strange interludes (like “Song of Love/Narayana”, which sounds like a fairy tale filtered through the Sci-Fi Channel), and sometimes shifting space-rock prophecies (the title track “Strangefolk”). I haven’t followed the career of Kula Shaker, so I can’t say for certain if Strangefolk was worth the eight year wait, but I enjoyed it. One final note: the best two tracks on this album were the “bonus tracks” that appeared at the end of the album (“Persephone” and “Super CB Operator”). Odd. – Adam Goran, WYCE Intern

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