I Think We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat
Norman Cook rarely wanted for celebrity pals during the decade that his Fatboy Slim moniker was at its peak. His collection of big-beat remixes includes work commissioned by the Beastie Boys and the Rolling Stones, while his own studio albums have featured guest appearances from the likes of Damon Albarn and Macy Gray. So it’s hardly surprising that Cook’s debut under his new handle, The BPA – the name stands for The Brighton Port Authority – arrives with its own share of borrowed star power.
Each of the dozen tracks on I Think We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat (which comes complete with a fictional backstory regarding the album’s mysterious mid-’70s provenance) is built around a different singer or MC, and it’s a proudly eclectic bunch that Cook has assembled: David Byrne, Iggy Pop, Dizzee Rascal and Martha Wainwright all show up, as do lesser known UK talents such as Jamie T and Emmy The Great.
The music is as varied as that roster portends. Wainwright croons seductively in ‘Spade’, over a laidback reggae groove; ‘So It Goes’, featuring the English singer Olly Hite, has a creamy soft-rock vibe; Pop drives a cover of the Monochrome Set’s ‘He’s Frank’ with his usual garage-punk thrust. Nothing on Bigger Boat feels as immediate as Cook’s old Fatboy hits, but that doesn’t seem to have been the point. When you’ve got famous friends, the album suggests, this is just how you end up killing time.
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