Cod complex: why Boy George is one of ‘inauthentic’ reggae’s all-time greats

With a new Culture Club album out, is it time to reappraise music’s most chastised genre?

Status update: Boy George has given up being the Ministry of Sound knob-twiddler we last knew him as, reunited Culture Club and turned out his first album in 19 years. The first we knew of his return was a comeback single, Let Somebody Love You, which was not good. Not good in the way his voice has blown a gasket, its narcoleptic tempo, and the depressing sense that George hasn’t taken the title’s advice in a long time. The one thing you couldn’t really criticise it for, though, was being cod reggae.

Cod is a favourite dig used by music journalists who want the final word. Even the kind of professionally daft hacks who spend all their time defending Daphne & Celeste or rhapsodising Drake will circle the wagons when you try to put more steel drum than is strictly necessary on your next dub-heavy single. But it shouldn’t be like that.

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