Sir Cliff may always be remembered most for his 'Rock' N' Roll' period and for his Christmas singles but as 'Now You See Me..Now You Don't' proves he made some excellent 80's records as well.
'Now You See Me...' is one of Cliff's more lyrically religious sets but musically Cliff keeps to the right side of the pop acceptability line and by doing so ensures that those with little or no religious belief can still enjoy listening to the album. Take the glorious 80's pop sound of opener 'The Only Way Out', for example. Irresistibly catchy, the song can be heard both as a love song for a partner or as a heartfelt promotion of Christianity. 'Thief In The Night' takes a more rocky edge to delivering the lords message and is reminiscent of much of the 'Christian Rock Scene' that was about at the time in the early 80's. 'Little Town' meanwhile could (and did) double up as a song for the festive season. While not an out and out 'Christmas single' its a real delight and its fanfare of strings and 'Disney' like wonderment give it both a warm feel and a childlike innocence. While all of this may seem a bit 'sickly sweet' to some, Cliff's conviction in what he is singing always comes through and rescues the situation. 'Son Of Thunder' is also excellent and the three 'extra tracks' here also prove to be worthy additions to the set list and not just 'more for mores sake'.
Obviously, 'Now You See Me..' sounds very 80's (synths and Linn Drums) so it may not suit those new to Sir Cliff's music but if you have lived (and loved) with Cliff through the years you can't go wrong with this record. The album is remastered but this time around it has been sympathetically done and the album sounds great, is not 'overly loud' and still retains its dynamic range.
Finally, If you find yourself missing the 80's sound and missed this at the time - give this a go - its as great a timepiece as it is a great album.