Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Jeremy Williams-Chalmers
Arts Correspondent
1:00 AM 9th February 2024

Albums: Kula Shaker - Natural Magick

Kula Shaker - Natural Magick

Gaslighting; Waves; Natural Magick; Indian Record Player; Chura Liya (You Stole My Heart); Something Dangerous; Stay With Me Tonight; Happy Birthday; Idontwannapaymytaxes; F-Bombs; Whistle and I Will Come; F-Bombs; Whistle and I Will Come; Kalifornia Blues; Give Me Tomorrow

Label: Strange F.O.L.K. LLP

Kula Shaker was an inescapable force in the mid-90s. With their 1996 debut album, K, peaking at #1 on the official charts, they enjoyed a run of Top 20 hit singles between 1996 and 1999 before disappearing into the wilderness, otherwise known as a hiatus. Though they returned less than a decade later, the line-up had shifted slightly, but nonetheless, they did enjoy a run of critically praised album releases and sell-out tours. However, as they reach the release of their 7th studio album, Natural Magick, the original line-up is fully reunited, and with the nineties once again cool, could this be their chance to catapult themselves back fully into the hearts of the mainstream?

Natural Magick is an infectious album. It borrows heavily from the sound that first put them on a musical map, but somehow manages to not sound dated and recycled. As with their debut album, the retro vibe and euphoric edge set them apart from their counterparts. Although there are clearly still influences from Southern Asia, they do not dominate the album’s sound quite as heavily as in the band’s earlier work.

Interestingly, Natural Magick sees the band stay on political terrain, but they seem as determined to make the body move as they do the mind. With Beach Boys meets The Beatles vibes, this is an album that will fill dancefloors around the world and garner Kula Shaker an army of younger fans.

With the luscious Chura Liya (You Stole My Heart), hip-swaying Indian Record Player, and political anthem I don't want to pay my taxes proving the album stand outs, Kula Shaker can give themselves a firm pat on the back for delivering an album that is every inch as strong as their earlier work.

Natural Magick is full of memorable, thought-provoking, and bootie-shaking anthems.