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All In
Stroke 9
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Reviewed: 1/16/2005 by Mike


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‘Nasty Little Thoughts’ was a surprise hit album in 1999 for this San Francisco outfit. Fuelled by the catchy as hell tongue-twisting ‘Little Black Back Pack’ it went gold in 2000. The 2002 follow up ‘Rip it Off’, introduced a more punk-edge to their sound and although it was by no means a bad album, it failed to emulate the success of its predecessor, lacking its commerciality. The band was dropped by Universal and has been forced down the independent route for their fourth album. ‘All In’ is far more experimental than anything that has gone before, illustrating that the major label shackles that hampered the Stroke 9 creativity have well and truly been removed; a plus point for independent releases. The ability to write a hit single is still evident in quintessential pop of ‘Set You Free’, and although artistic freedom is represented in the funky ‘Rod Beck’ and the disco tinged ‘Faux Gucci Girl’ die hard followers may find the likes of the ultra modern ‘Words to Live By’ repetitive, boring and perhaps a little too hard to stomach.

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