IT has been 20 years since Shaun Ryder’s wicked tongue lashed into the hot topics of the day, but it was well worth the wait as his new album, carefully crafted with his old pal Kermit, hits the ears running.

Voodoo Pop kicks off with the intro Everything You Know Is Wrong, unleashing Shaun’s sharp wit and fierce intelligence arrowed at Donald Trump and a swipe at Hilary Clinton’s email debacle.

The close harmonies of Whiskey, Wine and Ham conjure up the surf sounds of the West Coast mixed with laid-back jazz halls.

The Happy Mondays front man reminds us of the band’s heyday in I Wanna Be Like You, as his distinctive voice flows out across the pop rock track like lava frothing from a red hot volcano.

Again echoes of Happy Mondays are found in Nine Lives, which funks up the volume with a dance anthem, all rhythmic and edgy guitar.

The title track, Voodoo Pop, has oodles of character, with a chorus that is ripe for the picking by TV advertisers. It’s a classic dance floor filler.

Money Burns has a synth soundscape, a nod to psychedelia, while String Theory is a Kaiser Chiefs-style rock buster.

There is an underscore of slow sultry jazz funk, a cool vibe reflected in Losing Sleep preceded by the sunny, pop beat of Shame.

Raw honesty tempered with kindly humour runs through the album, which ends with Young and Dumb, Speed up, so you don’t stop; Slow down so you don’t quit.

At the end of his Pandora’s box of an album we are left with the hope that we don’t have to wait another 20 years for the next one.

— Flicky Harrison