By Neville Staple
Admittedly, when I told leedsmusicscene I liked ska, I meant ska-punk (aka Capdown-esque, aka more hardcore on the punk, subtle on the ska). However I was asked to review "The Rude Boy Returns" by former Specials singer Neville Staple and decided to give it a spin. The CD comes with a DVD extra, which has live performances displaying the quality musicianship of Neville Staple and his sheer energy on stage.
The CD features collaborations with Mick Jones from The Clash on guitar and Rat Scabies from The Damned on the drums. For the complete dub-ska fan (or ultimate rude-boy) this CD is a must. Completely danceable, skankable, and swayable to. Track 2 - "Why So Rude" - displays a quality singalong chorus and along with "Pick it up" (Track 5), it is one of my favourite tunes on this CD. "Do Nothing" written by Lynval Golding, takes the upbeat skank down a peg or too, quite a reggae feel, measured pace and relaxable. Track 14 "Nachna" is completely brilliant. Think Bollywood does ska.
Track 8 "Easy" has the lyrics "It's easy to walk away when things get hard" and "It's easy to fall in love", being a typical teenager these lyrics struck particularly prominent to me. Falling in and out of love happens everyday for the average 14-year-old and because of the total lack of responsibility they have at their age it is just as easy to walk away when things get hard. It is important to have something or someone to be committed to and this song is a bit of a reminder or exhibition of this. The Bonus Track "Pressure" - a dance mix I feel lets the album down. It's also placed badly in the track listings. It doesn't complement "Nachna" at all and the repeated melody gets quite irritating.
Overall I rate this album highly for ska, reggae, dub and the occasional punk fan. I generally wouldn't have gone out to buy this album. But if a song comes on in a club from it I'll be getting my skank on. Neville Staple is a living legend and his work over the years has been so impressionable and successful. This CD exhibits his talent all over and has a few classics (for Specials fans) that for people of my generation your mum or dad will remember.