Orange Juice‘s second major label album garnered their biggest ever success with their only Top 10 single, but much of the material within indicated a strange move for the ramshackle Glaswegian post-punks. Production wise some of the tracks do sit ill at ease with earlier Postcard singles, but there’s clearly a playfulness and wry experimental streak running through even the most seemingly commercial moments on Rip It Up which helps balance things.
Following the classic title track, ‘A Million Pleading Faces‘ is a truly baffling few minutes with it’s sheened funk guitars, tribal drums and chanted vocals, yet it’s oddly satisfying in it’s apparent transgression of cool. There’s also the reggae style vocals and anguished screams on ‘Hokoyo’ or the heavily eastern European sounding re-record of ‘Breakfast Time’ to try and get your head round.
Thankfully at the heart of it all sits the lethargic romance which Edwyn Collins espouses so perfectly, with his tender drawl and sardonic lyrics all over the likes of ‘Louise Louise’ and ‘Tenderhooks’. It all points towards a band at the peak of their creative powers taking on the mainstream at their own game; making pop music which to those not paying attention may seem homogenised and standard but is actually infested with experimentation, heart, and most importantly great songs which have stood the test of time.