After a decade of absence, Skunk Anansie is back with their long-awaited, fourth studio album.
Although Skunk’s popularity developed mainly in the UK compared to the US, the band has maintained a loyal fan base over the years through their non-merciful mixture of hard rock and pop ballads, portrayed within political, societal and heartbroken-driven jams like “Selling Jesus,” “Charity,” “Weak,” and the mesmerizing “Secretly.”
In Wonderlustre, all original members are back, packing a full punch of tight ballads and personal rock anthems which, although more mature and refined, certainly grow on you.
Probably the strongest track on the album is the opener, “God Loves Only You,” proving that the band doesn’t need to waste any time showing listeners what this album is about. “My Ugly Boy” portrays just how powerful Skin was, and still is, as a front woman. “It Doesn’t Matter” is a funk, guitar-driven track that’s refreshingly dance-worthy, although certainly a surprise among the majority of the songs present.
My only wish would’ve been to hear more of Ace’s gut-wrenching riffs, although to be fair, Skin’s vocals are still as commanding an emotional as ever.
Overall, Wonderlustre seems to lack a certain luster on first listen, perhaps because this is a personal record, and the lyrical content is missing that ferocious yet masochistic quality we’ve come to love in previous records.
Still, this album remains confidently stimulating, and defeats the majority of first, second and third time releases of any band in the past few years.