History: Released in 1988, the album would be met with generally good reviews and a sound that was a bit different than what others had known them for. The band added in more echoes and other sounds for a style of electronic that would inspire the future of Madchester genre. You'll hear a variety of genres meshed in from rock to funk on this album for a sound that really does bring something interesting for the ears.
Vocals: The band is British, and the vocals sound very 80's British. Usually, that can't go wrong, and it does hear either with Happy Monday's album. The vocals of Shaun Ryder have this deeper feel that contrasts with the lighter tones and sounds of the album as well. It adds a seriousness that might not be there otherwise. Sometimes though the vocals are overpowered by all that is happening instrumentally in the background though, but ultimately they do work together to form a cohesive tune for each song.
Instrumentals: Even though I did really enjoy the vocals I also loved the array of sounds the album had. With particular 80's music, such as this you hear a range of emotions and tones that can sound light but have this darker, deeper sound going on as well. There is something that can almost reflect any attitude you're having. Paul Ryder was on the bass, Mark Day on guitar, Paul Davis on keyboards, Gary Whelan on drums, Mark Berry on a bez. Now my only complaint was that nicknames were listed with these guys! What's up with cheesy nicknames? Anyways, the guys still have talent, but most of all I enjoyed the guitar riff. It has a fun sound that sometimes just steals all the focus for a song.
Recording: The band decided to mix it up in this album from their first album, and it seems they found success with what they embarked on. There is more reverb, the drumming is a bit different, and the whole pattern layout of the songs is patterning with a different technique. I love the combination that comes together. Some though weren't always fond of the sound, and I will admit at times it does come off a bit muffled, but there is still something about the album that I had been waiting to hear for a while on the list that had gotten lost in what seemed a lot of other genres that weren't reflecting some sounds I had been wanting to hear.
Happy Mondays is worth checking out, particularly if you're into the electronic, 80's, British music scene. It's not like the Pet Shop Boys, but I could see fans of the group also being fans of this on. I would have to further explore the songs to garner what the whole theme of the album is, but I do see myself listening to it again at some point.
Rating 9 of 10.