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ALABAMA 3: SHOPLIFTING 4 JESUS - SOFT SECRETS REVIEW

Alabama 3: Shoplifting 4 Jesus HOSTAGE MUSIC By Kaz Peet

That formidable band of outlaws, Alabama 3, together (or perhaps more aptly described as ‘untogether’), for nearly fifteen years now, has produced one of their best albums ever.

This latest emission, provocatively entitled Shoplifting 4 Jesus, shines out like a lighthouse standing firmly on its rock, ensuring safety in dangerous and troubled waters. Nobody seems quite sure whether this is the seventh, eighth or ninth album, but it has been carved with a fresh creative passion and musical profundity that yields this cut with a definitely sharpened edge.

Dealing with some of the issues of today in a typical Alabama 3 kind of way – using humor and ridicule, rather than ranting politics to slander the injustices of the system – the work is a voice of the zeitgeist: a clarion call to the people to stand firm in the name of the Lord.

For as front man, Larry Love says, “If you do it in the name of the Lord, you can get away with murder!”

Originally, funking up dance-floors with a quirky mix of country music, acid house and pure unadulterated rock ‘n’ roll; while perhaps to non-contenders, a novelty act, musical dogma was never the intention. Now key, signature elements of catchy melodies and a booty-shaking groove provide an anchor for vocoder-warped vocals, riot-torn rap and, totally out there, weird shit.

A dazzling host of guests were invited, or just serendipitously arrived, to become part of the recording process. From a globally respected gangster actor, to a best selling novelist and a twelve-year-old human beat-boxer, their inclusion allows us all to be involved. It gives us the feeling that we are an intrinsic part of the flow; that we each add our individual character to become part of a whole, and that  this band is not about featuring names on tracks and selling more records. This voyage into anarchic détournement begins with a Biblical passage read by Ray Winstone in ‘Nightmare’, closely followed by the dulcet tones of Bez (Happy Mondays) in ‘We Stole the Moon’. Marina Cole brings ‘Who the Fuck is John Sinclair?’ to life.

THIS IS A SONIC MISSILE THAT WILL BLOW THE MINDS OF THE MASSES. OR AT THE VERY LEAST, IT WILL ADD WOOD TO THE FIRE THAT ALREADY BLAZES, DEEP DOWN AND LOW, WITHIN THE CHALICE OF THE CONGREGATION.

Soft Secrets USA Issue 6 Dec 2011