Ian Dury & the Blockheads / Ian Dury

Mr Love Pants

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AllMusic Review by

The most remarkable thing about Ian Dury's 1998 reunion with his legendary Blockheads is that it sounds like the 15 years separating Mr Love Pants from their last album haven't happened at all. Sure, the production might be a little cleaner and modern, but, musically, they still kick out disco-ized funk grooves, mild new wave pop, and relaxed pub rock that provides the perfect setting for Dury's clever tales and character sketches. No, they don't rock nearly as hard as they did during the New Boots and Panties!! era, but it's not missed, because there's a genuine warmth to the performances that gives real resonance to this familiar sound. Better still, the songs are considerably better than those that made up the last proper Blockheads record, and they're better than those on Dury's solo records. There aren't any classics along the lines of "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll," "I'm Partial to Your Abracadabra," "Common as Muck," or "Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick," but they're all charming examples of Dury's strengths as narrator and the band's supple musicianship. Sadly, Mr Love Pants turned out to be Dury's last recording, but his body of work is much stronger with this as his final album.

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