We gave it a C
Any group with a name as theoretical as Pop Will Eat Itself is probably thinking too hard. This British band’s third album, Cure for Sanity, proves the point: It’s less an album than an idea for one. Bringing together a kitchen sink of hip-hop effects — sampling, scratching, and the fiercest of editing techniques — the record seems to be trying to re-create the sensory overload of the modern age. This busy strategy is not entirely without benefit. Since the group throws so much sound at us (incorporating everything from heavy metal to television jingles), some of it can’t help but stick. There’s a bass line you won’t soon forget in ”Dance of the Mad,” and in ”Psychosexual” the group at least scores points for originality with a sound that suggests a room full of hiccuping toucans. In the long run, though, the scattered approach proves too overwhelming to establish a consistent groove. Worse, when the group adds their whiny, callow vocals to the mix, they simply highlight their dilettantism. These guys need to be reminded that dance music with a brain means nothing if it can’t make you move your body.