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Old 01-06-2012, 04:47 AM   #701 (permalink)
Nobody likes my music
 
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Oh dear, then you'll want to avoid when I feature him on my "Gone solo in the game" slot! Not to worry, that won't be for a few months yet --- Bruce Dickinson is next up, look for that soon.

It's not so much "I don't give an eff-star-star-key", it's just that this is the music I like, others may also like it but if they don't that's fine. No-one's forcing anyone to read my journal: I know several journals that deal with things like dubz or death metal or whatever that I know I'm not going to be interested in,so I may read them (or not) but don't condemn them for their music taste (or lack of it!) and expect the same from anyone who reads this.

That said, as ever, comment is always welcome, as is debate.

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Old 01-06-2012, 04:58 AM   #702 (permalink)
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:05 AM   #703 (permalink)
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The worm always had a soft spot for Lisa Stansfield --- no, it wasn't quicksand, smartarse! Pah! Some people, honestly...
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:21 AM   #704 (permalink)
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Abstract symphony --- Majestic --- 1999 (Massacre)


This is, well, weird! Starts off all classical and prog, then kicks into a mad metal vibe! Debut album of only two released by Majestic, there's some great keyboard work here, no doubt of that. Progressive power metal? Vocalist Apollo Thanasio certainly has a good voice, while Richard Andersson is something of a wizard on the keys. Meanwhile, Magnus Nordh lets loose on the guitar, and the sound comes together really quite well.

Opener "Golden sea" sets the scene: fast, loud, powerful but with great melody, while "Losers shades of Hell" is far more guitar-led, with a really nice ballad in "Standing alone", showcasing Thanasio's powerful vocals.

Hard to understand why these guys weren't more successful. Their songs are certainly catchy, with just the right amount of metal and prog to appeal to both sets of fans. Yet they only put out two albums before splitting in 2001. Wonder why?

Great keyboard work from Andersson on both "Crimson sun" and "Ceasefire", and the whole band just go crazy on penultimate track "Nitro pitbull", while closer "Seekers battlefield" is the first time they really slow down, throwing in a bit of AOR to round things off.

Like the name says, majestic.

TRACKLISTING

1. Golden sea
2. Losers shades of Hell
3. Standing alone
4. Silence
5. Crimson sun
6. Ceasefire
7. Black moon rising
8. Blood of the tail
9. Shadows from beyond
10. Nitro pitbull
11. Seekers battlefield
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:33 AM   #705 (permalink)
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Just recently I reviewed an album by three ladies, that being the debut album by Pistol Annies, “Hell on heels”, so it seems only fair that we now attend to the gender imbalance, and look at an album recorded by three guys. But where to find such a thing?

Stars aligned --- Von Hertzen Brothers --- 2011 (Dynasty)


Ah, Finland! Land of, well, hmm. Land of … kind of hard to think of anything Finland is well-known for really. Kind of unfair really. Norway has the burgeoning black and viking metal scene, plus of course a-ha to their credit, Sweden is known for among other things ABBA, Denmark for various heavy metal bands, but when you think of Finland, little if anything comes to mind. But these guys aim to change all of that.

I've read a lot about the Von Hertzens in prog circles, and they seem to be getting a lot of attention from people who would normally dismiss the idea of three brothers who look like they should be on American Idol (or Finland's version, I guess, which I suppose would be Finnish Idol: doesn't quite have the same ring, does it? The Finn Factor? Nah. But I digress...) and would have nothing to do with their music. So if they're interested, so am I.

The three brothers, Kie, Mikko and Jonne, have all played in various bands which are no doubt well-known in their home country, but whose names mean nothing to me, but it is clear that they haven't just risen up out of the crowd overnight. These guys have cut their musical teeth in a way many youngsters these days neither understand nor want to do. They have released three albums prior to this, their fourth (you're keeping up! Very good...) which seems to be the one likely to break them commercially outside the confines of Scandinavia.

The album opens with “Miracle”, which starts with nice harmony vocals which are then joined by powerful guitar. Both Kie and Mikko play guitar and sing (though the latter is credited with vocals before guitar, so one would assume that he is the main vocalist) and their brother Jonne plays bass. And sings. The band is rounded out by Mikko Kaakkuriniemi on drums and Juha Kuoppala on keyboards. The opener is interesting, powerful AOR influences melding with some pretty good prog rock, and there's no faulting the singing --- well, with three of them you would expect that to be up to code, wouldn't you?

“Gloria” is faster, with some nice bass lines and again great vocal harmonies. More progressive than AOR this time, quite heavy in places, with definite elements of earlyYes in the workouts and jams. “Voices in our heads” is one of the longer songs, just short of seven minutes, and with a kind of new-wave vibe to the melody, one of the guys --- presumably, using my logic above, Mikko --- takes the vocal solo and it's clear that although it sounds really great when the three sing together, he doesn't rely on them nor does he drag his feet when it comes to the old pipes. He can certainly sing, is what I'm saying.

Von Hertzen, according to their website, means “from the heart”, and that's certainly how they approach their music. It all seems very personal, very intimate and there's not really an idea of their desperately trying to write a hit single. Their music is quite accessible on one level, but as “Voices in our heads” proves, it can be very involved and kind of off the beaten track, so to speak, and probably would not always appeal to the average record buyer, so on the strength of the tracks so far, though I've enjoyed them, I don't see them breaking out into the mainstream anytime soon.

The backing vocal on “Voices” is very innovative: almost a chant, and it works very well against the music. Of course, when the guys join their voices together they're a potent force, as they do as the song winds towards its close. Very effective. “Angel's eyes” has a very Zeppelin-like guitar riff, with a vocal line more remiscent again of Yes at their height. The overall feel from this song is of eastern influences, the sort of thing you might hear from Dio or indeed Zep, but not ripping them off in any way. Assuming the title would have raised expectations that this would have been a ballad, even a love song, it's quite refreshing that it's nothing of the sort. A hard rock cruncher with some pretty nifty guitar work.

My only complaint at this point would be that the Von Hertzens seem to have fallen into the trap encountered, indeed created by many of the older seventies prog rock bands --- and still practiced, some would say, by the new breed: Dream Theater, I'm looking at you! --- of engaging in convoluted and intricate instrumental breaks for no other reason than to show off their expertise on said instrument. It happens here, after a particularly quiet vocal section, and it's jarring, unexpected and it just sort of ruins the song.

A lovely little introspective guitar piece introduces what looks to be the first slow track, the relaxing “Down by the sea”, a short track mostly carried it seems on single guitar chords. Compared to the frenetic activity seen in “Angel's eyes” just now, it's a welcome relief and a joy to listen to. Some more really nice vocal harmonies near the end just add to the beauty of this fragile little song, and the Von Hertzen on guitar --- let's assume it's Kie --- knows just how to keep it to a minimum: no out-of-place solos, no showing off, just a simple guitar melody to accompany Mikko's singing.

“Bring out the snakes” opens with some sort of weird exchange between what sounds like someone on one side of a transmitter who wants a button pushed, an argument ensues behind synth and drums, then what sounds like classical guitar starts up and Mikko begins singing. It's a strange opening, and a little off-putting. Maybe it's from a movie, or something I'm not familiar with, but I'm definitely left with a feeling of “wtf?” and while my brain is still trying to work out what all that was about, I'm missing the song!

Now if this reminds me of anything, it's Frankie Goes To Hollywood's “Two tribes”. Just for a few moments, till let's say Kie's guitar cuts in, heavy and angry, and the synth soars as the drums pound, the song taking another left turn, with shouted chorus. Well, this will never get on the radio --- way too many “f-bombs”! Yeah, just a little too much going on all at once here for me, way too confusing to even review this track. Sorry.

“Repeat mode” opens like a Tom Waits song, with horns and sax, then turns into a mid-paced rock tune, quite commercial, but I'm still having trouble with the way the Von Hertzens jump from style to style within the same song; it's disorienting and it's beginning to get on my nerves, which is a pity as there's a lot to like about this album. It's almost like the guys are trying to make it hard to like them, or get into their music. “Always been right” starts out with what sounds like banjo, and settles into a kind of Big Country style.

Closer “I believe” is classic Queen, opening with organ and vocal harmonies, stopping, then slowly coming to life for the longest track on the album, at just over eight minutes. It goes deep into prog-rock territory, changing as it goes along, mostly fast and uptempo but with pauses and instrumental breaks along the way. The problem is that by now I've lost interest. The initial enthusiasm I had to hear this bold new band who dared to mix such styles has long evaporated, probably about the time “Bring out the snakes” assaulted my senses. Now, I'm sad to admit that I'm relieved it's over.

It might get better on subsequent listens; problem is, I don't feel disposed towards giving it more chances. Although not every album will hit you first time, I generally believe that if I like something it's going to make an impression first time round. There may be --- and are --- exceptions to this rule of course (cue my story of how I initially hated Phil Collins' debut), but by and large I can usually form an opinion of the band and/or album on first listen, and the impression I'm left with here is not good.

Confused/ confusing. Over-complicated. Messy. Disorienting. Hard to follow. Just a few of the ways I would describe the music on this album, so I'm afraid it's a big thumbs down from me. Well, not thumbs down, exactly: there is some very good music on this album. But it's likely to take too much work to get to truly appreciate it, if ever I could, and quite frankly, I have neither the time nor the inclination to spend my valuable time in that fashion.

The big shame is that there's the hint of some real talent there. Songs like “Angel's eyes”, “Miracle” and “Down by the sea” show real promise, and I'm pretty sure that it's just the offputting changes in the music styles that's stopping me from truly appreciating the Von Hertzen Brothers for who they are, but then, that's really up to them: I'm their (potential) customer, and they really need to do a lot more to make me want to listen than they're doing here.

A case, really, of a lost sale due to bad management of resources.

TRACKLISTING

1. Miracle
2. Gloria
3. Voices in our heads
4. Angel's eyes
5. Down by the sea
6. Bring out the snakes
7. Repeat mode
8. Always been right
9. I believe
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:26 PM   #706 (permalink)
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:27 PM   #707 (permalink)
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Hoobastank, eh? Weird name for a band, says the worm, but there's no denying the quality of this hit single of theirs. This is “The reason”.
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Old 01-08-2012, 04:58 AM   #708 (permalink)
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Old 01-08-2012, 05:09 AM   #709 (permalink)
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Good one for today from Rod the Bod, though perhaps this is a bit vicarious from the worm's point of view? (No legs, y'see...)
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Old 01-08-2012, 05:58 AM   #710 (permalink)
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Yes, I know I already featured one of these albums in the “200-word review” slot a short time ago, but now it's time to take a closer, more in-depth look at this, and the other side of Richard Marx, to try and figure out if I can just why these albums are so different, so opposite, and yet both were very, very successful and had a slew of hit singles taken from them. Neither did anything to impede the artist's fame or reputation, and both were well-received. So why then, do I love one and hate the other? Let's try to find out.


Repeat offender --- Richard Marx --- 1989 (Capitol)


Now, the more cynical among you will say the reason I like this one is because it's from the eighties, my favourite decade, and its “dark brother” comes from the nineties, but that's totally superficial. I like plenty of 90s albums, and quite a lot from the twenty-first century too, as it happens. I just believe that music in general was better back in the 1980s, but then of course, I was growing up in that period, and don't we all listen to music more when we're in our teens and twenties, and don't we all end up thinking that whatever decade we grew up in, that the music was the best?

Though of course, the eighties had the best music...

But to the album, or indeed albums. It's probably an overexaggeration to say I love this album. It's not one I regularly take out and listen to, nor is it that often included in playlists (oh, Apple! What have you wrought...?) when I compile them. I'm not even a Richard Marx fan, but then you don't have to follow a band or artiste to enjoy their music, even occasionally or sporadically. In fact, there are probably only a handful --- or maybe two fistfuls --- of artistes of whom I would say I am genuinely a fan, but I listen to a hell of a lot of music. Doesn't make me a fan of everyone I listen to, just means I like their music, or at least some of it.

So I couldn't say I love this album, and in fairness I've only heard these two, but as the featured album in the “Hate” section was bought directly after and in response to the enjoyment I had of the first of Marx's albums I listened to, these are the two on which I have to judge his effect on me. Of course, I'm free to buy and/or listen to more, to get a better flavour of the guy, and maybe someday I will, but at the moment the position I find myself in is that having enjoyed “Repeat offender” and gone for “Rush Street” on the back of that, I was so disappointed by the latter that I've never wanted to go any deeper into Richard Marx's catalogue.

So what of the albums? Are they as good, or bad, as I say they are? Well, first up we have to check out the positive side of the equation, and “Repeat offender” --- clever title, as it was his second album --- starts off well, chunky guitars and solid drumming introducing “Nothin' you can do about it”, a good mid-paced rocker which gets things moving. Marx's voice is pure eighties rock, like a mixture of Jon Bon Jovi and Joey Tempest, with a bit of maybe Bryan Adams thrown in there for good measure. There's a huge amount of personnel involved in the album, including the likes of Michael Landau, Bruce Gaitsch, Randy Jackson and Steve Lukather, the last of whom lends his guitar talents to the opening track. It's a real statement of intent as Marx yells ”Ain't nothin' you can do about it/ Ain't nothin' you can say/ Ain't nothin' you can do about it/ Nobody's gonna stand in my way!” Hardly original sentiments, true, but a good opener nonetheless.

“Satisfied” gave him his first US number one, and was the lead single of three from the album. It continues the powerful rock punch of the opening track, with a jangly guitar and a boppy beat, good backing vocals from, well, a host of people, including REO's Kevin Cronin, Toto man Bobby Kimball, and Ruth Marx, who I assume is Richard's sister. Great guitar solo, and the song is very radio friendly, though I would not have seen it as a number one personally. Of course, that was in the States: over this side of the pond it didn't even break the top forty.

The first big ballad (and there are a few) comes in the form of “Angelia” (which many Djs mistakenly called “Angelina”, understandable as it's an odd name), which rides on guitar and keyboards with a nice punching drumbeat behind it. This is the song that showed what Marx could do with a ballad structure, perhaps his first major songwriting success in the format; it was clear that his voice was suited perfectly to this sort of yearning, dramatic song. Great sax break from Marc Russo is followed by an equally impressive guitar solo from Gaitsch as the song heads into the final stretch. Quite a Bryan Adams feel to the guitar here, though he's not involved in the album.

Things rock right back up then for “Too late for goodbye”, one of the only tracks on the album not written by Marx. It is, in fact, written by the Tubes' Fee Waybill, one of two he writes on the album. With a pulsating keyboard intro and chug-along drums, it's a powerful and intense song, with some really great guitar, this time with the lead taken by Michael Landau. Also released as a single, this charted much lower in the US than “Satisfied”, but higher over here. I think it's a far superior song anyway, and obviously the UK agrees with me...

The huge megahit is up next, the song that made Marx's name and had teenage and twenty and thirty-year old girls swooning and slowdancing to “Right here waiting”. Stopping just short of the number one slot over here, it was a huge, huge success, and moreso over the water, where it reached the very top. Built on a simple piano line accompanied by Gaitsch's classical guitar, it's a tender, fragile song that reflects Marx's love for his wife, Cynthia Rhodes, but its message of love across the miles speaks to everyone, anyone who has had to, at one time or another, had to deal with their lover being far away. The opening line says it all: ”Oceans apart, day after day/ And I slowly go insane/ I hear your voice on the line/ But it doesn't stop my pain.” Of course, over here at least, this song has dogged Marx's career like “The power of love” has hindered the career of Jennifer Rush, or how Bryan Adams is forever identified with “Everything I do”. Sometimes a huge hit is just too huge.

But it's a beautiful song, and he deserves to forever be praised for writing it. As is often the case, though, this is the “tipping point” of the album, and the next few tracks don't measure up at all to what has gone before. “Heart on the line” is a dirty blues rocker, with some great guitar interplay between Gaitsch and Landau, and strides along on a great backbeat from Prairie Prince, who was apparently a founding member of Journey! Hey, ya learn all sorts of things from Wikipedia!

Great sax solo here too, Russo adding to the blues feel of the track while still keeping it total stadium rock, then everything flies into top gear for “Real world”, another rocker with some real air-punching moments, a great opening from Dave Koz on the sax and for a moment --- just a few seconds --- you think you're listening to the opening to “Paradise by the dashboard light” by Meatloaf, but then the song takes off and establishes itself. Kind of a fifties rockabilly feel to it, really. My own belief is that the brass takes over this track a little, though Landau throws in a slick little guitar solo just to remind us he's still here.

The second contribution from Fee Waybill is up next, and “If you don't want my love” is a great little rocker with some fine jangly guitar and stabbing keyboards, which give it a sort of half-dance vibe, but things don't really get back to the sort of quality the opening tracks have shown us to expect until we hit “Wait for the sunrise”, another Marx composition, and a fast rocker with a great sense of urgency to it. Great keyboard work on this, and the guitars as usual are very predatory, swimming like sharks through the tune, looking for prey. Hey, you try to keep coming up with interesting things to say! It ain't easy.

This actually comes in as my second-favourite track on the album, and no, my top is not “Right here waiting”, though I do love that song. It's the closer that does it for me. Written about the plight of homeless children, it's a power ballad at the very top of its game, and “Children of the night” is the perfect finale for this great album. The emotion in Marx's voice as he sings ”All that I know in my life/ I have learned on the streets/ No magic carpet, no genie/ No shoes on my feet” really tugs at the heartstrings, and the sumptuous keyboard intro ushers the song in perfectly. The determination also shines through in the lyric, the refusal to be beaten: ”I have tasted my own hunger/ Sold my body to survive/ Though they may have scratched the surface/ They can't touch what's inside.” You can't help but be moved.

And if that doesn't do it, the emotional guitar solo from Landau or the powerful horns that complete the song should, and if you're still unmoved, then the choir at the end will definitely push your emotions over the edge. A great closer to an album which, while not excellent, is still able to stand toe to toe with some of the better releases of the late eighties, and on into the nineties. For a second outing, almost, but not quite, flawless, and definitely a huge milestone in Richard Marx's career.

TRACKLISTING

1. Nothin' you can do about it
2. Satisfied
3. Angelia
4. Too late to say goodbye
5. Right here waiting
6. Heart on the line
7. Real world
8. If you don't want my love
9. Wait for the sunrise
10. Children of the night


So, after that, I was ready for more. It was another two years before Richard Marx released the follow-up, and when I heard the lead single from it, I thought “Here we go!” But I was to find this album a whole different proposition, as we will now see.

Rush Street --- Richard Marx --- 1991 (Capitol)


Again calling in a slew of talent, among them Billy Joel, Luther Vandross and yet another Toto man, this time drummer Jeff Porcaro, Marx changed his focus for this album, wanting to make it different to the first two, and trying out some new styles. This may lie at the root of why the album did not impress me. Some favourites return, like Lukather, Gaitsch and Randy Jackson, and even Motley Crue's Tommy Lee makes an appearance. Marx also shares more of the songwriting with returning co-producer Fee Waybill.

“Playing with fire” opens with a deep, rich voice intoning “Let's get busy”, and since Luther Vandross guests on the album I can only assume it's his voice. The track itself is a sort of mid-paced rocker in the mould of lighter AC/DC perhaps, with lots of “Whoa-oh!” type backing vocals. Good solid bassline, Marx sounding a little higher up the register and rawer than he did on the previous album, so much so in fact that were you to hear this song outside the context of the album, you might not immediately recognise the voice as his. Good powerful guitar solo from Michael Landau, but I see this song more as an intro to the album proper. Interestingly, it's the first --- and on this album, only --- song which Marx co-writes with Steve Lukather.

“Love unemotional” is another rocker, and now you can hear Marx sing as he did on his big hits prior to this album. More good guitar histrionics from Lukather, Landau and Gaitsch, but there's something more of a funk feeling to this track. Some cool harmonica in there though: that's nice! Marx is definitely stretching his musical limbs on this album, trying out new things. On “Repeat offender” he just took care of the vocals, while here he's playing piano and keyboards too. He also veers into new territory, stepping over the line to rhythm and blues with the next track, “Keep coming back”, which was a big hit single for him Stateside, though again not much impression on the UK charts. It features the legendary Luther Vandross, as already mentioned, and has a lot of his trademark sound on it.

To some extent, the two lads from Toto contribute their slick style from the likes of “Toto IV” to the song, and it's quite laidback soul, smooth and with clean production but for me it's not indicative of Richard Marx's type of music. The sax, this time from Steven Grove, fits in very well with the feel of the song, and there's little guitar about it, mostly driven by keys and Fender Rhodes piano. “Take this heart”, another hit for Marx, gets back to the rock format a little more, with a sort of mid-paced semi-ballad again reminding me of Bryan Adams at his best. Very clean guitar solo, but no-one's rocking out too much on this one, then we're at the track I still consider really the only standout on this album.

As I mentioned at the beginning, I heard this before buying the album, and foolishly thought the rest of it would be like “Hazard”, but I was wrong. Standing head and shoulders above the rest of the tracks, it's almost too good to be on “Rush Street”. A morose, tense ballad detailing the relationship of two people, and the suspicion cast on the man when the woman is found dead in mysterious circumstances, it rides along on a lovely keyboard line from Marx himself, with some great picked guitar accompanying him. It's a tale of the outcast in society, who is blamed when she dies, as he has had a relationship with her, but he denies the accusation. With everyone against him though, it's unlikely he'll ever be believed. Marx's vocal is full of tragedy as he relates the story and his part in it, and really at the end you have to make up your own mind as to whether he's telling the truth, or just covering up the fact that he's a killer. Great song, with a lot of nods --- whether intentional or not --- to the Boss: ”I swear I left her by the river”, “No-one understood what I felt for Mary” and ”Leave this old Nebraska town.” Yeah, they may be coincidental, but I like to think he was paying his own small homage to Springsteen in this song.

Well, that's only track five, and we've another eight to get through, so let's crack on. “Hands in your pocket” is another throwaway filler, good rocker but nothing special, then “Calling you” is the first time he teams up with Bruce Gaitsch to write a song, and it's not bad, quite commercial, kind of AOR with a lot of keys and not surprisingly some good moments on the guitar. Marx puts in a spirited performance on the vocals here, very impassioned with a hint of desperation in his voice.

One possible problem with this album could be the length of the tracks, a favourite obsession of mine as you know. I feel most if not all of them are too long for the quality of the songs involved. Leaving aside “Hazard”, there are six other tracks that go over the five minute mark, some very close to six, and one that almost goes to seven. Now that's fine if the songs are good enough, but on “Rush Street” I don't feel that's the case, and a bad song stretched out is just, well, a longer bad song. Making it a minute or two longer doesn't improve it, in fact it can often take from it. Compared to the previous album, with only one track that went over five minutes, and none over six, this album seems way too long.

“Superstar” is AOR, almost MOR, more filler, though there's some fine guitar work on it, then Marx renews his songwriting partnership with Fee Waybill, and “Streets of pain” shows it, with a real hard rocker in the mould of Zeppelin or Rainbow, hard screeching guitars and heavy drums with Marx doing a passable Robert Plant. “I get no sleep” comes in on jangling guitar and really nice honky-tonk piano runs, the backing vocals a little at odds with the music in my opinion, very soul-styled against an AOR tune. At least it's not stretched to breaking point, and at 3:44 is in fact the shortest track on the album. As a consequence it works much better than previous tracks, and Marx's piano playing on this is very impressive. Perhaps he's been playing for years, but since he didn't tickle the keys on “Repeat offender” only two years ago, I have to assume that perhaps he only learned in the interim? Or maybe he just wasn't ready to showcase that talent so early? Either way, I'd imagine he'd be playing a lot more piano on future albums.

“Big boy now” is pretty much a pop song, built on stabbing piano chords backed up by some tasty guitar, but not coming too much into the rock world. Very radio-friendly, even though it wasn't considered for a single release. Very Supertramp-sounding as regards the piano: knew I'd heard that style somewhere else before. Nice power ballad then in “Chains around my heart”, which was, you guessed it, another hit from the album for him and perhaps significantly is another co-written by him with Waybill. Lovely classical guitar meshes with soft keyboard work to create what would be I guess the second decent track on the album, and a really good electric guitar solo to perhaps remind us how great Richard Marx songs can be, but most of these sadly are not. It is, however, once again stretched out too long, about a minute longer than it should or could have been.

The album then closes on “Your world”, which sounds like a song written to a child, possibly newborn, and considering the years of the birth of his three children, this would seem to be for his first child, Brandon. It explains how we must treasure the Earth, look after Mother Nature, checking eco themes and all that other good stuff people tell their children, that they haven't done themselves, and regret letting slide. It's a nice song, nothing on the order of “Children of the night” as a closer, but not a bad one to end on at all.

And as is usually the case when I re-listen to one of these albums for review, I wonder if my opinion of it will have changed since I first heard it, but in this instance although I've mellowed a little towards “Rush Street”, it's still not a patch on “Repeat offender”, so I'm afraid it's firmly rooted in the negative side of this equation. I don't actually hate it --- there are few if any albums in my collection that I do hate --- but I certainly don't rate it. Sorry, Richard!

TRACKLISTING

1. Playing with fire
2. Love unemotional
3. Keep coming back
4. Take this heart
5. Hazard
6. Hands in your pocket
7. Calling you
8. Superstar
9. Streets of pain
10. I get no sleep
11. Big boy now
12. Chains around my heart
13. Your world
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