CD WEA, 9031-71694-2, 1990, 9 Track
is the fourth album that Roddy Frame recorded as Aztec Camera. Having been accepted into the pop mainstream with the polished soul confections of the 1987 hit album Love
, a lesser act would have hurriedly knocked together a variation on the same theme. Not Roddy Frame
, a talent rarely any easier to pin down than a hyperactive housefly. He took three years out before re-appearing with Stray
, a Paul Weller crop, leather trousers and an apparent determination to pick up where the Clash
left off--even to the point of drafting Mick Jones in to duet on the state-of-the-nation address "Good Morning Britain".
Stray almost sounds like the work of a man who has only just realised that you can plug in a guitar and is determined to make up for lost time. "That's How It Is" remains Frame's most explicitly rock & roll moment, and "The Crying Scene" was a deftly executed summation of everything that had made previous Aztec Camera records great--a way with melody, lyric, vocal and guitar apparently as effortless as it was unarguably peerless. --Andrew Mueller