Most helpful positive review
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Billy Mackenzie's awesome voice and a collection of rather tame songs,
on 26 August 2006
The late Billy Mackenzie was an awesomely fascinating singer whose finest work can be found on The Associates' albums "Sulk" and "Fourth Drawer Down". The lightweight songwriting and superficial production on his 1990 album "Wild And Lonely" came as a minor disappointment to both fans and critics. 16 years on, and 9 years after Mackenzie took his life, "Wild And Lonely" has now been re-released in a remastered edition with added bonus tracks. Despite sounding slightly dated back in 1990, the music has aged surprisingly well, and Mackenzie's vocals, while nowhere near as dramatic as in his early eighties heydays, are still captivatingly stunning and second to none. Especially the tracks from the old vinyl album's b-side, "Where There's Love", "Strasbourg Square", "Ever Since That Day" and "Wild And Lonely" with their wide range from baritone crooning to falsetto drama (oscillating from one to the other within a verse, sometimes within a single line) are very impressive, the only flaws here the mostly inoffensive and sometimes outright bland instrumentaion. Nevertheless, all songs (with the possible exception of "Calling ...", which is just a little too bland) are fine songs, and as a pop album, "Wild And Lonely" is truly enjoyable. The choice of the cover versions that appeared on the b-sides of the accompanying singles (included here as bonus tracks) is even more MOR in both production and song material, but even on a track like "Green Tambourine" Billy's voice is the saving grace, positively seductive and bringing out an ambiguity hidden behind the plain words.
One more quote from Billy's own lyrics: "... standing there with a broken key/to an open door/God it's only me ... wild ... and lonely". If one considers the chances (for success) Billy Mackenzie had, and, sadly, let pass by, the words make (painful) sense ...