Momus: ‘Create 2 – Recreate’ reviewed

❉ A trio of albums from the Creation years in one package, re-mastered and with additional bonus material.

Scottish-born Momus aka Nicholas Currie is a singer/songwriter, blogger, author and journalist (as “Nick Curry”) and professional provocateur, whose music juxtaposed from acoustic ballads to electro-pop to acid house and back again.  He currently resides in Osaka, Japan and has been making music to moderate acclaim, for well over thirty years.  Music runs in his family, as his first cousin is Justin Currie, the lead singer of Del Amitri.

So… who is he?  For the uninitiated, Momus’ early career explored dark biblical themes in a bleak acoustic style. However, as he found his musical feet he was hugely influenced by Gallic pop music, including chanson by Jacques Brel and Serge Gainsbourg.

Momus had always been one to push the boundaries of acceptability, within commercial pop norms and the album Hippopotamus is no different.  Originally released in 1991 on Creation Records, it is an irreverent tribute to Gainsbourg. Controversially, he was sued by Michelin for the song on the album Michelin Man, which compared the mascot to a blow-up doll.  The song was removed from the original album but it’s present on this release.

This wasn’t to be Momus’ only foray on the wrong side of litigation as he was sued for a second time in 1998 when the song Walter Carlos, about the transgender Moog pioneer Wendy Carlos, postulated that the post-transition Wendy could travel back in time to marry her pre-surgery self.  Carlos herself brought about the lawsuit. The case was settled out of court with a number of stipulations and a $30k damages sum.  To pay off the debt, Momus wrote thirty songs, one about each person or group who commissioned a song for $1,000. Patrons included Cornelius and Jeff Koons, the artist/sculptor.

Since a contact lens mishap whilst on holiday in Greece caused loss of vision in one eye, Momus has worn an eye patch, or very dark glasses, and it’s become somewhat of a trademark look for him.

Now with Cherry Red, Momus has re-released a trio of albums in one package, from the Creation years, including Hippopotamus (1991), Voyager (1992), and Timelord (1993) which have been re-mastered and includes additional bonus material.

The trio of recordings are best described as an “interesting” collection of songs, giving the listener a perfect entry point to the niche world of Momus.

We kick off with Hippopotamus which is an album of questionable content, courting themes of necrophilia and by his own description, was an album which was “the most perverted ever; a record about sex for children”. Others described it was “shocking for shocks’ sake”. NME scored it 0 out of 10.

The following year he released Voyager which was somewhat of an emotional epiphany and the complete antithesis of Hippopotamus.  Momus had fallen in love and this is reflected in the optimism of a less bleak future. However this wasn’t to last…

Timelord was Momus’ final album with Creation which was recorded in 1994 at an emotionally low point in his life.  Never far from controversy, Momus made tabloid headlines for his 1994 marriage to 17-year-old Shazna Nessa, the daughter of a Bangladesh-born restauranteur. Momus and Nessa first met when she was just 14; after her parents learned of the relationship, she was sent back to Bangladesh to enter into an arranged marriage, but escaped to return to London to marry Momus. This forced the couple to go underground living in fear that Nessa’s family would find her and kidnap her, or possibly worse.  The album mirrors his loneliness and embittered despair and revealed a change from Momus’ shock tactic lyrics of just a couple of years earlier.

This trio remastered collection of Momus’ career at Creation, embodies the emotional and lyrical range of this multi-faceted man.  Difficult to pigeonhole, and love him or hate him, he’s never to be forgotten.  His broad-minded approach to song writing ignores the social norms of the usual constraints of popular music which is possibly why he remains dubiously yet delightfully sub-culture.  Fans of Momus however will love this special release, beautifully packaged with an interesting sleeve notes booklet by musician Anthony J Reynolds, with a special foreword by Momus himself.

‘Momus: Create 2 – Recreate’ 3CD Remastered & Expanded Edition is due for release on 23 March, from Cherry Red Records, where you can pre-order:

To find out more go to his website

Ange Chan is a poet and novelist.  Her 4th poetry collection “Fame; What’s Your Name?” and her second novel “Baby, Can You Hear Me?” were both published in paperback and Kindle in 2016.   Ange’s latest poetry collection “Songs of Sorrow and Heartbreak” was published in October 2017, and her third novel “Champagne Flutes and Pixie Boots” will be published in 2018.  Possibly. 

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