Sound — 6
The sound of Half Man Half Biscuit is as eclectic as you could imagine. Nigel Blackwell, the lead singer and songwriter, seems to enjoy having a wee go at everything from indie pop (Mate of the Bloke) to punk rock (Joy Division Oven Gloves) to just plain fun pop rock (all the rest.) Half Man Half Biscuit have never been about creating their own sound, and this album is no different. They provide a social commentary backed up with great fun pop music. There's nothing wrong with their music but let's face it, nobody listens to HMHB for the music over the lyrics.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics for Achtung Bono are quite simply fantastic. From the first track (Restless Legs) right through Blackwell provides his usual biting social commentary and humorous observations. In "Shit Arm, Bad Tattoo" he complains about a certain member of the Libertines referring to the Book of Revelation as the 'Book of Revelations.' (see also Mary Hopkin, she must despair.) He claims to spray "in church hall if wet" on a poster for Monsters of Rock in "Mate of the Bloke", complains about soup opera actors lack of understanding of the rules of darts in "Surging Out Of Convalescence", and laughs about the 21st century obsession with mental health with the song" Depressed Beyond Tablets." Overall Achtung Bono, as with any Half Man Half Biscuit, is worth listening to solely for the lyrical value. Every song is done in a different musical style, to fit with the Blackwell's take on the music. But it is Blackwell's take which determines the value of the music, and honestly, this album is lyrically fantastic.
Overall Impression — 9
My brother gave me this album and it took me a few months to even listen to it. But once I did, I was repeating it every day. Every song on the album is a winner. As far as I'm concerned it's as good as any 'Biscuit album, possibly the best. Check out the tab section of this site, as most songs from this album have been tabbed here.