Was (Not Was)’s first album in a decade
David Was refers to the new Was (Not Was) album, Boo! (out now), as a ”spiritual material emetic, to [get out] unreleased music we’ve had around and was clogging the drain.” David, along with his partner, producer Don Was (Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan), leads the they’d-be-venerable-if-they-weren’t-so-weird, avant-funk outfit — 1988’s ”Walk the Dinosaur,” anyone? He says the band added three new tracks to ”remixed, tricked-out” tunes, including Boo!‘s first single, ”Crazy Water.” Jolting R&B, featuring the lush harmonies of Sweet Pea Atkinson and Sir Harry Bowens, ”Crazy Water” dovetails, David believes, with ”the vogue for the neo-soul music” of artists like Amy Winehouse — although as the 55-year-old says, ”We’re more paleo-soul.”
Known for inviting unlikely guests into the studio to sing absurdist lyrics (previous Was songs have featured Mel Tormé, Kim Basinger, and Frank Sinatra Jr.), the band asked Kris Kristofferson to croon the loopy non sequiturs that make up Boo!‘s ”Green Pills in the Dresser.” ”I asked Kris not to emote too much, because I told him we planned to drown out his vocal with the sound of a cattle stampede,” says David. ”Kris fell on the floor laughing.” No one, notes David, had ever asked the minimal-voiced singer to emote less. Meanwhile, with a tour starting this month, also expect to hear unrecorded Was (Not Was) gems like ”Sunshine Superfly.” It’s a mash-up of Donovan and Curtis Mayfield, of course.