Today’s POP RESCUE from an uncertain future, is the 2001 fourth album Fredhead by duo Right Said Fred. Does this album make you feel just a bit too sexy, or is that a Dippy thing to say? Read on…
Second single You’re My Mate opens the album and it gives it a great introduction, as this song is quite a catchy one. It is fairly simple, and with a repetitive chorus, but it carries a warm ‘feel good’ drunken chanting factor that fits perfectly, and the opening line of ‘I’ll tell you what I think, I think she’s a cow’, demonstrates the blokey ‘friend’ theme of the song. Perhaps this warm and friendly combination led to it giving them a moderate #18 UK hit in 2001. The song also makes it as one of only few to utilise bagpipes in a dance record. The song became the official South African National Rugby Union 2002 theme, and has been noted as a football stadium song.
Next up is the lead single Mojive. The track has a faster tempo and more energy that the previous track, and together with its video, it’s clearly pitched at the summertime party crowd. However, everyone must have been on holiday when it was released as a single, as it did not chart in the UK.
Angel Dust is up next and this opens with a latino sound to it. Richard gets some nice vocals here singing about his ‘little bit of Angel Dust’ as the aforementioned dust sounds like she’s dancing around him with some angelic ‘doobah’ and ‘lala’ soft vocals. The drums sound like those lifted by Simply Red for their hit ‘Fairground‘ (from The Goodmen’s ‘Give It Up‘). Over all, this is quite a nice little song.
This is followed by Funk You which opens with a simple synth sequence, but steadily leads a brooding synth and beat. Sadly, the lyrics are difficult, and the delivery sounds a little out of key. It sounds like a broken Pet Shop Boys song.
This leads on to I Know What Love Is, which is a really nice slow number, allowing Richard to show off his warm vocals, alongside Fred’s guitars. The song flows perfectly, but doesn’t particularly sound like this song belongs to them.
Then it’s Lap Dance Junkie, which has a great tempo laden with piano and guitar. At times it sounds like a Pulp song with its narrative, but it bounces along perfectly with Richard’s vocals.
Lovers.com is up next and this brings the more dance pop sound back. A throbbing bass drum kicks all the way through Richard’s lyrics about the trials of online dating. It’s definitely album territory, but it’s a nice little song.
Next it’s Bring Your Smile which is a simple song but at times sounds almost like a hybrid of Texas meets Vengaboys songs. The track gently drifts along though without much of a conclusion, it is the longest song on the album by this point, and feels it.
Electronic bleeps usher in next track Like A Woman. A soft brushed snare, with softer vocals from Richard, set against a flurry of echoing synth notes makes me think of Pure Shores by All Saints from the previous year. Occasionally backing vocalist Kay Arma gets a few lingering notes, but it would have been nice to have heard more from her, given the title. Despite that, the end result is quite a nice song.
Jamaica Jerk is next, and this sounds like it belongs on an early David Hasselhoff album, as they sing about ‘doing the Jerk Jamaica’. It’s similar in style to You’re My Mate – with the chant/singalong element, but there’s little else of value here.
The Sun Changes Everything follows this, and this lifts the pace and mood somewhat. This is an upbeat number, and sounds pretty good – oozing sunshine. Richard’s vocals sit here comfortably, and he sounds like he’s singing with a smile on his face. The chorus is perfectly catchy and bright. I think that this should have been a single instead of Mojive.
Tinkling piano keys and guitar effects cut away to a sultry saxophone for next song Insatiable You. Richard gets to show off his rich deep vocals, even if he does start singing about garlic and dental hygiene. He’s joined by some nice warm backing vocals, as the tinkling piano returns. Another nice song.
This is followed by the album’s third and final single, Love Song. This is quite a nice and simple song, with a catchy ‘la la la dee dah’ melody and accordion section, but despite this, the song failed to chart in the UK.
Up next is Mojive (AC-Koma/Blue PM Video Mix), which throws in a roaring, cheering crowd, and a harder thumping beat. Richard’s vocals are clear and confident here and reminiscent of those I’m Too Sexy tones.
The album closes with newly recorded versions of early hits – first up being I’m Too Sexy, which now has a much harder sound with plenty of growling electric guitars and less of the pop sound of the original. It’s nice enough, and a good reminder of the group’s early sounds.
In contrast, the album closes with a new version of Don’t Talk Just Kiss which is far more dance-pop than the original version. No Jocelyn Brown on this version which is a big shame, but it does okay with gurgling synths.
Over all, this album is very different from their expertly crafted debut Up!, and its follow-up Sex & Travel. It’s not as consistent in style as these two, perhaps showing the duo’s maturity in the dance-pop genre, and leanings towards other styles, which results in a slightly disorientating collection of tracks.
Richard’s vocals definitely shine in several songs – with Insatiable You, and The Sun Changes Everything being two great examples where he’s hitting a different style, but the single-buying audiences unfortunately never heard them.
Whilst the album failed to chart in the UK, it was a #2 hit in Germany, and a #4 hit in Austria. The duo have continued to have success, winning awards, and touring.
Alas, I guess they’re just too sexy for the UK charts now.
- POP RESCUE 2020 RATING: 3 / 5
- 2001 UK ALBUM CHART PEAK: Did not chart.
- POP RESCUE COST: £1.99 from an eBay seller.