Monday, April 11, 2011

A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS/Dream Come True: Spaz reviews the EXPANDED reissue!

The great Cherry Records offshoot, Cherry Pop, has just reissued an expanded edition of A Flock Of Seagulls' fourth album (from 1986) and here is what I had to say about it over at All Music Guide.

"After a genre-defining debut, a satisfyingly somber sophomore album and a third full length that combined the best elements of the first two, things were amiss within the AFOS camp. After three hectic years of non-stop touring and recording, stress-laden guitarist Paul Reynolds promptly quit. Since Reynolds’ unique guitar playing was an integral part of their sound, the band chose not to replace him and they continued as a trio. Moving in a more danceable, Fairlight-driven direction, Dream Come True heralded a new sound for the band. While many critics and fans panned it upon release, the album has plenty of merit. More than half the album’s nine original tracks are worthy of your attention including the singles “Who’s That Girl (She’s Got It)” and “Heartbeat Like A Drum” plus other key cuts like “Cry Like A Baby”, ‘A Whole Lot Of Loving” and “Say So Much”. Musically, while the album was sonically ahead of it’s time in 1986, it has become the band’s most dated sounding release. For the first time in their short career, it seems as if they allowed then-modern production techniques to dictate the direction of the album, creating a clinical sound that was devoid of personality. The band’s unique style was completely gone, replaced by funky guitars, female backing vocalists and clumsy R&B/Dance rhythms. While Mike Score’s lyrics on their previous album, Story Of A Young Heart, were a conscious step away from sci-fi futurism of old, this album found him focusing exclusively on love and, ahem, sex. In the past, his occasionally banal lyrics were hidden behind the charm of the song’s melodies, but on Dream Come True’s musically weak tracks, Score’s limitations as a lyricist are often times more embarrassing than his hairstyle of old. “Love On Your Knees” is downright juvenile and just plain stupid. “Hot Tonight” lacks any sort of melody and is, ultimately, the worst track in the band’s entire catalog. The heavy handed “Better & Better” starts out fairly strong but ends up losing steam a little over halfway through, which is not a good sign since it’s the album’s opening track! In hindsight, Dream Come True is essentially a Mike Score solo album with occasional musical appearances from bassist Frank Maudsley and drummer Ali Score. And while the album is far from a total disaster, it doesn’t even come close to reaching the same heights as their first three albums. Still, it’s a nice addition to their catalog and is due for reappraisal right about now. This Cherry Pop reissue include remixes and edits of the album’s two singles plus the controversial non-album track “(Cosmos) The Effects Of The Sun”."-Stephen SPAZ Schnee/All Music Guide

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Why was (Cosmos) Effect of the Sun controversial?