Best album of the year, bar none.
This first Madness outing since the bands 2005 ska covers project The Dangermen Sessions sees them reunited with original producers Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley. A suite of twelve brand new songs, The Liberty Of Norton Folgate acts as a paean to their beloved London, the title referring to a street that connects Bishopsgate with Shoreditch High Street. The record opens with the jaunty "We Are London", which sets out their personalised (and idyllic) view of the capital and boasts an infectious, sing-song chorus ('you can make it your hell or heaven/live as you please'). The band continue to filter their recognisable influences--pop, reggae, ska--through great, bouncy tunes like "Forever Young,", and "Dust Devli". Songs like Clerkenwell Polka carry a classic bar-tune feel, all parping brass and foot-stomping piano, but the highlight is the 10-minute title track, which see-saws kaleidoscopically through pop, ska, Klezmer, cabaret tunes and a whole lot more. Upbeat, friendly and fun, The Liberty Of Norton Folgate is arguably Madness's finest collection of new material in many years. --Danny McNamara
"Norton Folgate is Peter Ackroyd writing for The Kinks, it's Sherlock Holmes in Albert Square, it's a Mike Leigh movie of Parklife, it's Passport To Pimlico meets Brick Lane, and it is Madness's masterpiece." - THE WORD
The Liberty Of Norton Folgate is Madness's ninth studio album, their first album of original material in a decade and only their second in 23 years. The album took close to three years to create and is produced, in-part, by Grammy-winning producer Liam Watson, although most of the production dutiesare handled by their regular producers Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley. The Liberty Of Norton Folgate is preceded by the single Devil's Dust.