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on 1 April 2006
When this album originally appeared it was greeted with pretty much universal indifference. His previous album (the pop masterpiece "The Golden Section" (TGS)) had underperformed, but this sank without trace.
Which is a shame, as it is a fine album.
It is easy to dismiss it is over-matter from TGS, but whilst at first glance it appears to cover the same territory, deeper listening reveals quite a different work...
Whereas TGS was an exuberant, romantic and celebratory outpouring, IMW is a more introspective affair with a sparser sound (though only by comparison with TGS).
There is some great, anthemic pop (Stars on Fire, What Kind of a Girl, Enter the Angel) aching ballads (Morning Glory, In Mysterious Ways, Stepping Softly) and even a chunky rocker (This Side of Paradise).
The sound on this issue is far superior to the CD that was issued in 1985.
This issue has good booklet notes, lyrics, and three bonus tracks ('b' sides from the two singles). All are excellent and well worthy of inclusion (Though I'm certain my 12" of Enter the Angel credited the song now called Hiding in Plain Sight as 'Stairway'...)
I'd have like the two 'extended' versions of the singles to have been included... but I guess you can't have everything...
Mabye John Foxx could release a CD of the Virgin 12" versions? That would be very nice indeed... :)
But I digress, this is a fine and rewarding album that is well worth the pennies of any lover of melodic, well performed pop...
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VINE VOICEon 12 August 2004
Releasing a catchy collection of pure pop was never going to appeal to a large percentage of Foxx's core audience. Unfortunately Foxx himself hasn't showered this record with praise in his retrospective view of his own work, which is a shame because I think the point of the record and the value of the material has been unfairly denigrated.
It is true that some of the production and technology sounds very 80's but the standard of the songs are, on the whole, good. Stars on Fire, Enter the Angel and Morning Glory are great songs. The album also includes a couple of Foxx's best atmospheric ballads and is as close to a mainsream record that he was or is ever likely to produce (and that is not an insult).
If you want a good example of pure 80's pop shot through with a touch of late new-romanticism then this is the record for you. If you want the hard edged synthesizers of 'Metamatic' then skip it.
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on 19 May 2005
I've been an avid fan of Foxx and Ultravox since I was a kid (roughly a sprog of about twelve or so). I bought all his albums on vinyl as they were released and have seen him live several times. He's incredible really and totally unique.
What's this album like? If you're seeking the ice-cool Metamatic or the sheer atmospheric dynamism of The Garden or The Golden Section, this isn't for you. Released in 1985, it saw John...fall in love! Yup, for all those who thought it could never happen, here's the proof! The tracks are totally romantic and whoever the lucky lady was, she was the muse celebrated here.
Stunning tracks: Stars On Fire that sees his old Ultravox friend Robin Simon return on guitar and Enter The Angel which sees a pre-fame/pre-Fairground Attraction Eddi Reader give it some on backing vocals. Foxx continues to evoke the sort of atmospherics only he can really do properly. After this album he took a long sabbatical from music but it's an interesting document nonetheless.
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on 15 August 2003
John Foxx has so many musical styles that it seems impossible for him to please all his fans, all the time. I loved all four early albums: Metamatic, the Garden, The Golden Section and In Mysterious Ways for very different reasons. Mysterious Ways and The Golden Section are the two which seem most similar and most underrated. The blend of drum machine, layered synthesisers and hooky guitar riffs create an upbeat and often moving backdrop for John's stirring and increasingly melodic vocals. I also particularly like Robin Simon's guitar playing on Stars on Fire, Paradise and Lose All Sense of Time. Excellent guitarist; remember Systems of Romance? This & the Golden Section deserve more appreciation and both get 4 1/2 stars from me. For what it's worth.
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on 21 September 2001
Mostly ignored on it's original release in 1985 - a great injustice!. The remastering has brought this album to life - standout tracks being the singles Stars On Fire and Enter The Angel. Other tracks not to be missed include Morning Glory and Stairway [incorrectly labelled on the CD as Hiding In Plain Sight] As with the previous 3 John Foxx albums - way ahead of it's time.
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on 15 May 2003
The music of John Foxx can be split loosly into four parts. 1 - Ultravox, 2 - Electronic, 3 - Instrumental & 4 - What Was He Thinking. John with "Ultravox" was cool electronic/guitar rock before Midge Ure joined for commercial success. "Electronic" includes Metamatic, Shifting City, Pleasures of Electricty and the soon to be released Crash & Burn. "Instrumental" is John's concept work such as Cathedral Oceans which is best listened to with the lights off and a glass of red wine. We now come to the "What Was He Thinking" category. Unfortunately both this album and The Golden Section fall under this heading. Overblown production with dreamy romantic lyrics. If you like John in catagories 1 or 2 avoid this at all costs.
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