Isolated lines here and there. “Amnesia” indicates that what we sow we will reap. “One By One” suggests that some principles are worth dying for. The persevering singer on “Tubthumping” repeats, “I get knocked down, but I get back up again.”
Just as some individual lyrics warrant praise, others deserve a thumping. “I’d rather take drugs than have sex” is a line heard on “I Want More.” “Amnesia” describes the dismantling of a human head. “Outsider” could be interpreted as saying that breaking the law is a good way for teens to have fun. Life is portrayed as miserable, bleak and pointless (“Creepy Crawling,” “Good Ship Lifestyle”). “Mary Mary” includes backward masking of someone reciting “hail Marys,” but worse yet is the enraged confession of a rebellious girl who boasts of drug use, immodesty and selling her soul “for sex and gin.” Alcohol flows on the Top-10 single, “Tubthumping.”
While musically intriguing, Chumbawamba communicates little of value. In fact, this British band has a reputation for promoting anarchy, bashing religion and crusading for a radical gay agenda. Some of that misguided passion shows on this disc.