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Screamadelica – Primal Scream

Primal Scream Screamadelica

Screamadelica

(1991), 8.5/10
Almost twenty years after Exile On Main Street, Glasgow’s Primal Scream successfully replicated the spirit of the Rolling Stones’ 1972 landmark. Rather than Keith Richards’ pharmaceutical eclecticism, Ecstasy is the sole drug of choice, and the setting has moved from the French riviera to London clubs, but the same sense of drug induced decadence and gospel derived grandeur permeates both recordings. While Screamadelica effectively ushered in the dance scene, it’s still comprehensible to old school classic rock enthusiasts; opener ‘Movin’ On Up’ is produced by Exile-collaborator Jimmy Miller and quotes Can. Screamadelica is supposedly an accurate aural representation of Ecstasy; the songs were originally recorded in straight up rock and roll fashion before were suddenly invigorated with dance remixes. The end result is sometimes drawn out, but more often than not it’s infused with an irresistible sense of grandeur. Paradoxically, on such an influential dance album, the songs that stand out are the most organic; ‘Movin’ On Up’ cruises along on a warm piano groove, while the gorgeous ‘Damaged’ is acoustically meditative. Elsewhere, the dance oriented material runs the gamut from pretty ambient pieces like ‘Inner Flight’ to upbeat material like ‘Step Inside This House’. It’s not quite consistently entertaining enough to garner full marks, largely due to the long running times of the tracks, but Screamadelica bears most of the other hallmarks of a significant record; the swagger, the historical significance and the mood are all palpable.

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