Album Review Lupen Crook - The Pros And Cons Of Eating Out

If you don’t find something to love in here, you are probably dead inside and don’t deserve your ears.

Lupen Crook has apparently been on a voyage of discovery and misadventure to craft his latest release, although anyone who has previously experienced his dark lyrical mastery and witnessed his hypnotic live performances would perhaps presume this to always be the case. What is immediately apparent is that ‘The Pros And Cons Of Eating Out’ is equally a voyage for the listener. Throughout the 41 minute journey we are exposed to sounds spanning the entire spectrum of musical styles, from punk, baroque, ska, folk, sea shanties, grunge and surprisingly, tinges of musical theatre, all stitched together and crafted with such precision they never become contrived or irksome.

Gorillaz-esque beeping starts the album in ‘Fantasist In March’, before metamorphosing into a combination of a Kraut Rock stomp-along and Mariachi brass. A polar opposite, ‘Will O The Wisp’ provides an unexpected but welcome ‘sea shanty’. ‘Dorothy Deserves’ whisks us into a sing along that is equally infectious as it is brilliantly bananas, sounding like a track from a stage production, on speed. Recent single, ‘World’s End’ gives us Crook’s more sensitive side, a great track and certainly the most radio friendly on here. As a single it works perfectly, mixed in halfway through the album however it feels like a mere distraction compared to the stronger tracks that book end it. ‘Devils Son’ and ‘Scissor Kick’ juxtapose this and demonstrate the albums more musically aggressive, immediate and punchy side. ‘Pirates Wife’ on the other hand is a beautiful and haunting melancholy that paints a picture of an imbedded narrative.

‘The Pros And Cons Of Eating Out’ is more produced and less stripped back than its predecessor ‘Iscariot The Ladder’. Interestingly, it is a mixture of both this and his debut, ‘Accidents Occur Whilst Sleeping’. A combination that clearly works here, the songs feel more polished and refined yet all of the charm and integrity remain.

With an artist this unique and uncompromisingly brilliant it seems frankly criminal he has been in the shadows for so long. Lupen Crook is a true original and an exceptional talent, a one off in the truest sense of the word. Hopefully, surely even - ‘The Pros And Cons Of Eating Out’ will finally lift this veil of relative obscurity and give him the break he really needs. If you don’t find something to love in here, you are probably dead inside and don’t deserve your ears.