Twenty Vodka Jellies Reviews

New Musical Express, 12 October 1996

Twenty Vodka Jellies
(Cherry Red/LP/CD)

CARICATURE ENGLISHNESS need not begin and end with unimaginative Burnage boisterousness and pie'n'mash cockney capers. It can also mean the languid, ultra-lounge ennui of the effete fop. A life shaped by nannies, twisted by public school faggery and doomed by serial absinthe ingestion. In short, a facile existence dedicated to the pursuit of cavalier perversity.

El Records of London typified the languorous life when Nick Currie signed to their roster in '86 and made his first recordings as Momus. El was the home of The Monochrome Set and The King Of Luxembourg, people who weren't so much afraid to rock, but totally unable to be arsed.

Momus fitted the bill perfectly, with his clinically crafted hymns to Serge Gainsbourg, lyrical obsession with extreme sexual indiscretions, velveteen vocal virtuosity and a self-perpetuating image of wayward, licentious rakishness.

Out of step with the domestic Zeitgeist, Momus has enjoyed his greatest commercial success in Japan. Characteristically, in recent years the rascal has been luxuriating in the professional company of Oriental schoolgirl vocalists -- since '94 he's written Top Ten Japanese chart hits for Kahimi Kari ('I Am A Kitten') and Poisoned Girlfriend ('Good Morning World'). [sic]

'Twenty Vodka Jellies' includes his own versions of his nubile protegees' hits, alongside various curiosities and rarities from the Momus vaults -- a crooning trip-hop take on the Buzzcocks' 'Orgasm Addict', a bizarre and misguided flirtation with grunge ('Saved') and Eurocentric dabblings in both Italian and French.

Homoeroticism, inflatable dolls, strychnine and unrequited love are all dealt with, in supremely literate style, so slip into your silk smoking jacket, and enter the magnificent Momus mindscape of highballs, harems and hookahs. And effete to the beat.


Ian Fortnam

Melody Maker, 26 October 1996

20 Vodka Jellies
Cherry Red Records
(20 tks/74 mins)

HEY, you in the trainers! Cast fan! Over here! Buy this instead! It may make your life worth living!

Not -- addmittedly -- a brand spanking new album from Nick Currie but a sprawling assortment of curios and rarities that draws influence from Serge Gainsbourg, Kurt Cobain and Neil Tennant.

There are tracks written for Japanese pop star Kahimi Karie; unreleased grunge experiments that were, it is claimed, created with Garbage's Butch Vig in mind; a cover of "Orgasm Addict" even.

High point: "An Inflatable Doll" -- the first draft of "I Had A Girl" -- is worth the (mid)price alone; most likely the loveliest song you will hear all year.