Index to Music Reviews Home Page

 

Music Reviews

Popular Music CDs - Part 8 - September, 1998


Graham Vine

Divider

Ratings:
Extraordinary
Good
Acceptable
Mediocre
Poor

Divider

"common knowledge.com"

Wax

For Your Love; FYL CD 11

Performance: Star (605 bytes)Star (605 bytes)Star (605 bytes)Star (605 bytes)
Audio: Star (605 bytes)Star (605 bytes)Star (605 bytes)

"Wax" consists of Andrew Gold and Graham Gouldman. They have brought out the album called "common knowledge.com" in 1998, but first, a little history. Andrew Gold had hits in the '70s with songs such as "Lonely Boy" and "Never Let Her Slip Away". In the meantime, Graham Gouldman was making hit after hit after hit with 10cc. When they split, Andrew and Graham recorded a complete album, but only a couple of singles ever saw the light of day.

Well, after 15 years, we get the chance to enjoy those 'long lost' sounds. And yes, it was worth the wait. Especially as 3 new songs have been added, bringing an up-to-date freshness to the compendium.

It's clear that the earlier influences show through. 10cc fans will be delighted to get their hands on some new Gouldman material. Then there's that hit from Wax - "Bridge To Your Heart". Sadly not on this album, but its presence is clearly felt as another one of those influences. Some other sounds I can hear are slight reminiscences of Hall and Oates. Must be fans, I should think.

It's a good 15-tracker. Not disjointed, but plenty of variety. Certainly worth buying if you've been missing 10cc, and lots to hold your attention in any case.

For reference, full track-listing:

1 Shanghai Moon
2 Sometimes
3 First Time In Love
4 Victoria
5 Don't Break My Heart
6 Let's Have Some Lunch Sometime
7 The King Of Showbiz
8 Holiday
9 Big Brother
10 Separate Limos
11 All Over You
12 J. B. In Arabia
13 One More Heartache
14 Big Fat Baby
15 Heartbeat Tppp

- GV -

Divider

"Live the Life"

Michael W. Smith

Reunion; 051724 - 2

Performance: Star (605 bytes)Star (605 bytes)Star (605 bytes)Star (605 bytes)Star (605 bytes)
Audio: Star (605 bytes)Star (605 bytes)Star (605 bytes)Star (605 bytes)

There's a new album out by Michael W. Smith, and it rocks!

Its stunningly good first track is called "Missing Person", six solid minutes of melody, vocal skills, song-writing, and sheer ear-catching production. The second track, "Love Me Good" has a latter-day Stephen Stills air to it, and it really does move along. In fact, many of the tracks on the album could be called 'driving songs'.

But we're not in Bachman-Turner Overdrive country here. From the Beatley "Live The Life Slower" to the sumptuous "Hello, Good-Bye" (no, not the Lennon-McCartney song), we have a demonstration of Michael's wide range of styles. Take, for instance, the track "Never Been Unloved", a gentle, folky balad which is number 4 on the album. Lovely stuff, though I do wish he hadn't used the word 'unworthy' in it. Shwing!!

Michael's soulful "Matter Of Time" has perhaps the strongest lyric. Here's an example, singing of the first time he met his love:

"I turned to stone, and I could not speak,
She had the ability to make me weak."

Beautiful.

Even so, the tracks don't rely solely on the words, and an instrumental is included in the form of "Song For Rich". It has (so far as I can tell) a superb sound-alike for Northumbrian pipes brought forth from a synth-keyboard.

I did not care too much for a couple of the tracks: "Let Me Show You The Way" seemed dull as balads go, and the song "I Believe In You Now" has a rather weak melody compensated for by a great production. He's entitled to a couple of fillers though, eh?

You'll gather, then, that I'm fairly taken with this album. No need to skip any tracks. Highly listenable. Well done, Michael.

For reference, full track-listing:

1 Missing Person
2 Love Me Good
3 Live The Life Slower
4 Never Been Unloved
5 I Believe In You Now
6 Don't Give Up
7 Let Me Show You The Way
8 I Know Your Name
9 Matter Of Time
10 In My Arms Again
11 Song For Rich
12 Hello, Good-Bye

- GV -

Divider

"Andy's Diner"

Andy Kinch and Friends

Andy's Diner; AK CD 01

Performance: Star (605 bytes)Star (605 bytes)Star (605 bytes)Star (605 bytes)
Audio: Star (605 bytes)Star (605 bytes)Star (605 bytes)Star (605 bytes)Star (605 bytes)

The menu on offer at Andy's Diner is a varied selection of new songs garnished with production ranging from 60s - style pop through rock and the rich flavour of some fine soul. Those serving up these delights include lead vocalists Mick Lister, Ian Seigal, Kelly Groucutt (from The Electric Light Orchestra), and Meli James, as well as some others. Andy himself plays a cookin' keyboard on most of the tracks, and Butch Thomas, who plays sax live with Sting, makes a very welcome appearance.

One or two of the meals were a little indigestible to this gourmet but, you know, the lingering taste in the mouth of "Heartbreaker" and "Tear It Up" actually made these two of the most memorable experiences from my trip to the Diner. Catchy tunes . . . Bah!

My initial interest in the album was generated by Kelly's "Everlastin' Love". It really is a good song, and having been telegraphed for a few months, it was certainly worth the wait. It's truly captured the mood of the sixties, and that voice is a perfect match.

The rock songs on the album are in the style of, say, Springsteen and Bryan Adams. In fact, Andy acknowledges them as such. But they are not copies. It's a subtle thing, but it works for me.

A menu with something for everyone could maybe also have something to annoy everyone. That's not the case at Andy's Diner, and even the items which did not suit my particular palate didn't get near to sticking in the throat.

So, Andy. What's for afters?

For reference, full track-listing:

1 Hands To Heaven
2 Border Town
3 Simple Man
4 Warm
5 Reach Out For The Dream
6 Can't Get Over You
7 Everlastin' Love
8 My Captor's Heart
9 Heartbreaker
10 Tear It Up
11 Mountain
12 Can't Get Over You (movie mix)
13 Border Town (unplugged)

- GV -

Divider

© Copyright 1998 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity
Return to Table of Contents for this Issue.