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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars UNFAIRLY DISMISSED,
This review is from: Revelation (Audio CD)Don't be put off by the fact that this album was made after
the split [ Midge / Chris / and the earlier departed Warren
all miss out here ]....Billy decided to crack on with things
under the Ultravox banner, and why not - it worked once before
when John Foxx left to go solo, so why not this time too ?
Well, as it turned out, rumours were that Billy [ kbds / violin ]
and new singer / guitarist Tony Fennelle didnt get along too
well, so after a bit of promotion ( including an on-air piece
on Radio One 'live' ) it sounds like they quickly parted company.
The album itself though, whilst perhaps not a full masterpiece
in the league of 'Vienna'/'Rage In Eden'/'Quartet'/'Lament'/
and perhaps (or not) 'U-Vox', it does however contain some songs
that are more than worthy of those works.....the overall sound
is still pretty much the 80's Ultravox sound, but slightly more
AOR at times, due to Tony's vocal style. This is apparent on
the opening track, and single release, 'I am alive' : lots of
soaring Currie keyboards etc, but with a powerful American
friendly vocal from Tony. Good track though. Track 2 is
'Revelation', one of the weaker ones, sounding like Hall&Oates
or some such. Next up is 'Systems of love', very rousing, upbeat,
but still that AOR sound. Cheeky title too, harking back to the
1970's album 'Systems of romance'. Not a bad track though.
T4 is 'perfecting the art of common ground',slow paced, and
not really for Ultravox purists with it's vocal style.
On to 'The Great Outdoors',a bit livelier,more ultravox in the
traditional sense,quite a strong song.The old juddering bass
keyboards are back,strings keyboards,unfussy guitars,not bad.
T6 is more American orientated again, but is not a bad song.
Good tune, midpaced, fresh sounding. The piece de resistance
arrives in the obscure album position of Track 7. One of my
all time favourite Ultravox tracks, I don't know what it's doing
hiding here ! Superb tune, almighty chorus, massive vocals from
Tony....it's got it all....the old soaring Ultravox feel to it.
Worth buying for a tenner just for this track [No turning back].
Next is 'true believer' - perhaps the most original track on
the album.Given the slightly unadventurous tracks 1-6,it is
again odd that Billy waits til Track 8 to put this one forward.
Fresh beat,cracking piano work, modern keyboards and samples,
and a more unusual vocal style [ a little like Steve Strange
here at times on this song ], this is another decent track, for
sure. When you get to Track 9 you expect it to tail off badly,
but yet again, the best is being saved for later ! Another fine
song, tucked away in the arse end of the album. Traditional
pitter patter rhythms and bass programming from Billy, but with
a fresh feel to it, overlaid with piano and synths. Good vocals
again, and a singalong chorus. A fine song.
So, after a good start, with 'i am alive', a clutch of ok-ish
songs thru to track 6, then going supernova on T7-9, what's the
end going to be like ? well, you just have to hear it. A
stunningly beautiful song, slow, piano, strings, from Billy,
tearjerking vocals from Fennelle, great lyrics, soaring chorus,
a fine fine song. It's called 'the new frontier'....wonderful.
If you don't have this album, but you like ultravox, get
yourself a copy - don't dismiss it as irrelevant because there
is no Foxx, no Midge, or indeed no Warren or Chris....not even
because this line-up collapsed as quickly as it came together..
....give it a chance [ like the similarly deserving 'Ingenuity'
album, but that's another story....for the second half of the
album alone, in my opinion, it's well worth getting. Other fans
i am certain will favour other tracks on the album, rather
than the ones I do, but i feel there's something on here for
all Ultravox fans, whatever their tastes.
Nice work Billy [ and Tony of course ].
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Originally released in 1993,
By A Customer
This review is from: Revelation (Audio CD)Originally released in 1993, Revelation saw Billy Currie teaming up with vocalist Tony Fenelle and co-producer Rod Gammons to produce an album which although kept the classic Ultravox sound of the atmospheric ballads also experimented with harder dance loops, as on 'True Believer' and slower funkier grooves like 'Closer I Get To You'.
There are also experiments with a string ensemble on 'New Frontier' and 'I Am Alive', which overall adds up to a very varied, upbeat and impressive album.
Ultravox, although formed in 1976 and emerging during the Punk/new wave era are mainly known as one of the most influential groups of the early eighties. They reached the top of the charts with classic hits such as Vienna and Dancing With Tears In My Eyes, and many of these songs are now regarded as anthems of the '80's.
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