Spin - 2/98, p.1046 (out of 10)
- "...Ryder can't sing, he can't play an instrument, he's fat and ugly, but he can talk for hours about Loch Ness soil samples and how they look like computer disks. A foot soldier in the army of George Clinton and Al Jourgensen, he brings his cockeyed expertise to bear on a funk ensemble that never fails to slobber all over the groove..."
Option - 3-4/98, p.76
"...All kinds of elements pop up in the mix, including Beatles licks, Kermit's dancehall toasting, flute loops, soulful horn charts, psychedelic guitars and more....This is rock music for your booty..."
Melody Maker - 12/20-27/97, pp.66-67Ranked #6
on Melody Maker's list of 1997's "Albums Of The Year."
Melody Maker - 11/15/97, p.45
"...deranged...rollercoasting...fun-packed....it's a warts'n'all look at the realities of shafting..."
Musician - 3/98, p.93
"...STUPID is aswim in conflicting, discordant noises...and the tandem rap/toasting of Paul 'Kermit' Leveridge....it does sound like these guys have just tumbled 'whoo-hoo'-ing from the ale-soaked Tappa Kegga Daily house....you can't help but 'whoo-hoo' along..."
NME (Magazine) - 12/20-27/97, pp.78-79Ranked #21
in NME's 1997 Critics' Poll.
Black Grape: Shaun Ryder, Carl "Psycho" McCarthy, Paul "Kermit" Leveridge (vocals); Danny Saber (guitar, sitar, harmonica, piano, Fender Rhodes, Hammond B-3 organ, clavinet, vocoder, bass, programming); Paul "Wags" Wagstaff (electric guitar); Martin Slattery (flute, saxophone, electric piano, Hammond B-3 organ); Ged Lynch (drums, percussion).
Additional personnel: Steve Lironi (electric guitar); John X Volaitis (harmonica); Neil Yates (trumpet, Theramin); Mat Colman (trombone).
Producers: Danny Saber, John X Volaitis, Shaun Ryder, Steve Lironi.
Recorded at Real World Studios, Bath, England and Westlake Audio, Los Angeles, California.
Personnel: Paul "Kermit" Leverage, Shaun Ryder (vocals); Paul "Wags" Wagstaff (guitar, electric guitar); Danny Saber (guitar, sitar, harmonica, piano, Fender Rhodes piano, clavichord, programming); Stephen Lironi (electric guitar); Martin Slattery (flute, saxophone, electric piano, Fender Rhodes piano); John X. Volaitis (harmonica); Neil Yates (trumpet, Theremin); Ged Lynch (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Tom Lord-Alge.
Recording information: Crack House, LA, CA; Real World Studios, Bath, Somerset, England; Westlake Audio, LA, CA.
Unknown Contributor Role: Black Grape.
Arrangers: Danny Saber; Martin Slattery.
With the demise of Happy Mondays and the stoned innocence of the 'Madchester' scene in the late '80s/early '90s, vocalist Shaun Ryder was left with one helluva hangover and a need for an outlet for his individual brand of strung-out street poetry. With Black Grape, he's found a harder, darker forum for his freewheeling rants. On STUPID, STUPID, STUPID, he shares vocal tasks with Carl "Psycho" McCarthy and Paul "Kermit" Leveridge, who contribute raps and rapid-fire Jamaican toasting to trade off with Ryder's thickly-accented drug references.
STUPID STUPID STUPID finds Ryder soldiering on in typical hedonistic fashion; sex and drugs are high on the lyrical agenda. The album opens with "Get Higher" which splices portions of Ron & Nancy Reagan's anti-drug speeches into confessions of copious narcotic consumption, and all over a wild, club-ready background. The heavy bass throb and distorted vocals of "Dadi Waz A Badi" display Black Grape's ominous side, while "Rubber Band" is distinctively bright, with trumpets, vocoder and, at center stage, Shaun Ryder, the sprightliest, most endearing beer slob you'll ever fall in love with.