The Church's fourth album includes what I think most fans would agree is one of the band's five greatest songs, namely "Shadow Cabinet." The Church puts it all together on this one -- the memorable repetitive guitar phrase, swirling melodies, unconventional sounds and instruments (including strings, a harpsichord and what almost sounds like a theramin), enigmatic lyrics, and what is perhaps the best drumming that Richard Ploog ever did. It's an incredibly compelling song, but the rest of "Remote Luxury" doesn't even come close.
Sure, there are two other very good songs on the album -- "Constant In Opal" (also an effective repeating guitar phrase), and the moving "A Month of Sundays." "Maybe These Boys" starts off promising with a brash sound, but then goes on for far too long. The two songs sung by Willson-Piper, "10,000 Miles" and "Volumes," are not bad, but conclusively demonstrate the superior song writing skills of the band's leader Steven Kilbey, who wrote the majority of The Church's songs (Willson-Piper would improve with "Spark" on the "Starfish" album). The title and concluding track, an instrumental, made me wonder when David Bowie would break in and sing "Ground control to Major Tom."
"Remote Luxury" is certainly not amongst the band's best efforts, but it is still worth owning because of "Constant in Opal," "A Month of Sundays," but especially because of one of the band's flagship songs, "Shadow Cabinet."