Samantha Mumba : Always Come Back To Your Love

In the days before Samantha Mumba existed, the charts were a barren wasteland. But with single number three, Ms Mumba plants some trees.

Those among you who have been anywhere near ‘the streets’ recently can hardly have escaped a round or two of the pop gaming sensation ‘the pop names game’. For the uninitiated, the game is based upon the preposterous premise that there are too many pop groups clogging up the charts, and that, by and large, most of them are absolutely rubbish.

The contestants’ task is to amalgamate two or more acts into one glorious whole, thus reducing the pop surplus and creating some truly astonishing new outfits. Oh yes, and to drink as many brain-batteringly sugary Hooch drinks as is humanly possible in half an hour.

Points are awarded for the ease and skill with which the band’s names fit together and, most importantly, just how great your brand new fantasy band would sound. Sure, it’s a complicated scoring system, but it soon becomes pretty obvious that while the Beastie Boyzone and The Sugababes In Toyland (say) are merely neat ideas, the Wu-Tang Clannad are very possibly the best band to never quite have graced a stage.

We only mention this, because the other evening NMEPOP.COM was outraged to be told that Samantha Mumbachumbawamba was (a) worth no points whatsoever and (b) not as funny as we thought it was.

Fortunately, there’s never been a West Yorkshire anarcho-syndicalist element to Samantha’s music, as ‘Always Come Back to Your Love’ decisively proves. Easily her best single to date, funky and upbeat, it’s the perfect rebuttal to critics who suggest that we just can’t do girlpop this side of the Atlantic.

Samantha, of course, would take any such suggestion in her stride. After all, you get knocked down, and you get up again…

Andrew Wagstaff