Rating – 3/5
‘Family Fun’ is the latest single released by London based, multi-instrumentalist Mellah; an offbeat, indie-pop track that paints a warped caricature of the problems facing British politics and society. The accompanying video is a satirical take on campy 80s game show Family Fortunes, but instead of quizzing the great British public on things you might find in your toilet, it’s more about poverty, CEO bonuses, and foreign oil dependency. So not quite the Les Dennis version.
There’s an unconventional sound to the track most likely attributed to Mellah’s eclectic vocal delivery ranging from quick staccato verses to high pitched, head voice woos. The tempo and upbeat melodies juxtapose the darker lyrical themes which seek to expose the unfairness of British society and the excesses of the unrestricted financial sector.
The themes explored are more relevant now than ever, and in Mellah’s own words the track is for “…[the] people that teach our children, drive our buses and trains, put out fires, grow and deliver our food and our public sector workers, they are the people that literally keep us alive and also the people that have been shut up, ignored and demonized”.
The instrumentation is deliberately cheesy in order to tie in with the track’s overarching theme; looking at it objectively it can be slightly grating as the ironic kitsch value leaves little in the way of replay value once you’ve digested the overall message of the track. Not to say that it is poorly performed or arranged; on the contrary, Mellah is clearly a talented guy and his obvious grasp of songwriting, performing and clever lyrical content is apparent.
Having said all this the track is infectiously upbeat and it’s undeniably catchy as a piece of two-minute pop fun, but there’s not enough there to hold interest as a single. Now, this track is part of a larger debut album, which undoubtedly will flesh out the themes and musical ideas explored which could lead to a more cohesive piece of work than this standalone track. Mellah’s debut album is forthcoming this summer; expect more political commentary and quirky indie tracks but hopefully, the final product will subvert expectations in a way that we’re unable to anticipate.
Review by Theo Wildgoose