Ultimately too weighed down by drab socio-political observations and retro accessories to qualify as a cool, state-of-the-art album...More on
As evidenced by the appearance of American soul great Terry Callier on a couple of tracks, Urban Species' reverence for the funk stretches to a time before Massive Attack and Portishead, to a time when it was free to be pretty and serene. This may lead to a few too many wangy guitar solos, but also to the vivid mix of affection and trim grooves captured on 'Women', and rich dub foray of 'Predictably Unpredictable'; to a Soul II Soul-like scope - embracing sound-system heaviness, buoyant tunes and Imogen Heap's empathic vocals - which those who've strived to follow the aforementioned Bristolians have neglected.
Ultimately too weighed down by drab socio-political observations and retro accessories to qualify as a cool, state-of-the-art album, 'Blanket' is nevertheless a moderately snug experience to wrap yourself in.
To read all our reviews first - days before they appear online - check out NME magazine, on sale every Wednesday