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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A different kind of justice
Long forgotten by most casual listeners and long traded on scratchy too fast/too slow mp3 among fans like contraband, Kirsty MacColl's debut has been out of print in its original ordering for a good thirty-one years now. One reason for the apathy this album has been shown could be the fact that if you take this album out of the equation Kirsty's transition from '79's...
Published on 9 Oct. 2012 by Rik

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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kirsty Maccoll debut album
this rejigged and updated and remastered CD is KM's debut album shows some good promise but just don't expect hit after hit after hit - but the next album is a absolute "belter" though.
Published on 28 Nov. 2012 by a.m.hardwick


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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A different kind of justice, 9 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Desperate Character (Audio CD)
Long forgotten by most casual listeners and long traded on scratchy too fast/too slow mp3 among fans like contraband, Kirsty MacColl's debut has been out of print in its original ordering for a good thirty-one years now. One reason for the apathy this album has been shown could be the fact that if you take this album out of the equation Kirsty's transition from '79's 'They Don't Know' to '83's 'Terry' is seamless, so what variety could be missing? 'Desperate Character' actually serves as a strange and unpredictable blip between Kirsty's stints with Stiff.
Unlike later works, this album is almost inconsistent due to Kirsty 'trying on' numerous vocal styles but not necessarily in a negative way. The defining word would be 'pub rock' but that term callously glosses over the mock-reggae cover of 'Just One Look', the sleazy, boozy horn sections of 'Teenager In Love' and 'The Real Ripper', the infectious Joe Jackson-style new-wave slam of 'Falling For Faces' and, of course, those beloved 60's girl-group harmonies scattered liberally throughout.
'Desperate Character' features some wonderful moments of pure-pop Stiff Records-style with iconic rockabilly rave 'There's A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop...' but also includes lost single and instant classic 'See That Girl'; a real shining moment in Kirsty's earliest work with a savvy lyric, angelic harmonies in spades and a piano that just keeps on spiralling. Cap this with the high notes of 'Hard To Believe', another throwback that's so good Polydor slapped it onto the backside of 'Chip Shop' as a bonus b-side.
There's even more highlights with 'Until The Night' which screams 80's saxophone, but is also incredibly sweet and nostalgic; I can't decide whether the lyric could have been Brian Wilson's or Tom Waits' at 'Closing Time'(!) 'He Thinks I Still Care' is covered in daft tones, fading out to Kirsty firing sassy protests amidst a cheeky nod to 'Blue Moon' while tongue remains firmly in cheek for 'Teenager In Love' as Kirsty takes the guise of teenage ingenue off her face on tequila: These carefree moments of frivolity weren't really touched on again until 2000's masterwork 'Tropical Brainstorm' which is a hopeful sign that Kirsty was having a hell of a time here too.
'Desperate Character' is well worth a visit, a revisit and then another one for luck; for a fiver I'm not hearing excuses - thirty-one years should tell you this album is anything but ten-a-penny. I can't guarantee you'll love every second (there's one or two I rarely visit...) but I can guarantee it will charm you with an armful of new favourites so sumptuous you'll break the 'REW' button on your stereo/laptop/ipod. Years after the fact dues and justice are finally being paid (thank you USM!) and 'Desperate Character' is a vital missing piece that you've been without for far too long.

Four stars for the album, five stars because this superb slice of pop is deservedly back on the racks.
Here's to the One and Only: Kirsty MacColl.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic - Eclectic and Uplifting, 18 April 2013
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This review is from: Desperate Character (Audio CD)
I feel this album is possibly one of the most shockingly under publicised records ever, and I say this as an 18 year old who only discovered 'Desperate Character' about a month ago. Firstly, as ever, Kirsty's voice is absolutely perfect and so pleasant to listen to, but also highly distinctive and not containing all the vocal tricks that many singers use, giving her voice a very honest tone. Her harmonies on 'Desperate Character' are superbly crafted and allow her voice to become an instrument with the backing track, something that is not at all easy to achieve. This is most evident on my favourite track of the album, 'Teenager in Love', which cleverly combines a sort of lilting "Hawaiian" feel with the lyrical themes of the Shangri-Las but in a more witty manner. Throughout the album, the instrumentation is very well produced and Kirsty makes excellent use of the trumpet. I feel like 'Desperate Character' is the perfect introduction to her music. 'Mexican Sofa' alludes to the Latin influences more prevalent in the album 'Tropical Brainstorm', whilst 'Chip Shop' adopts the country and western theme that later re-appears in 1989's 'Don't Come the Cowboy with me Sonny Jim'. Aside from the aforementioned 'Teenager in Love', my personal highlights include 'Clock Goes Round', 'Falling For Faces', 'Just One Look' and 'Real Ripper'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not her best but still great, 3 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Desperate Character (Audio CD)
Though Desperate Character is not Kirsty MacColl's best album (Kite), there are still some cracking songs on here including the single Guy Works Down The Chipshop. Harking back to the 60s, songs like He Thinks I Don't Care are frivilous fun but they are effective and witty. Unavaialble for years, it is great to see this re-released at last.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful Kirsty MacColl, 9 July 2013
By 
Gaetan Ayotte (quebec canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Desperate Character (Audio CD)
A great lost album now avalaible for the first time on cd. I discover Kirsty in the 90's and I bought every cds available at that time. This cd Desperate Character is a real surprise full of charms, it is as fresh has the day it was release, I love it , do not miss this great cd.

Gaétan Ayotte
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars About time availabe on cd, 26 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Desperate Character (Audio CD)
sadly missed Kirsty. Cd full of a mix of styles. needs at least a couple of listeans to really appreciate
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old favourite, 14 Mar. 2013
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N. Margerison "neil" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Desperate Character (Audio CD)
Great finally to have this album on CD - and go back down the chip shop with the new England girl.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Kirsty's first album, now available on CD, is ..., 12 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Desperate Character (Audio CD)
Kirsty's first album, now available on CD, is an absolute neccessity for all fans, and everyone else who's interested in top of the notch pop from the early 80's. "There's a boy down at the chip-shop swears he's Elvis" is an eternal masterpiece - and in two versions!
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5.0 out of 5 stars THAT WAS TO BECOME THE GREAT SOUND OF THE KIRSTY THAT WE ALL LOVED, 19 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Desperate Character (Audio CD)
EARLY KIRSTY MC COLL SOUND OF THE RAW TALENT,THAT WAS TO BECOME THE GREAT SOUND OF THE KIRSTY THAT WE ALL LOVED.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kirsty Certainly was 'The One & Only', 30 Dec. 2012
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Philip Johnson (Newcastle-under-Lyme, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Desperate Character (Audio CD)
I have recently bought all the remastered versions of Kirsty MacColl's albums after re-visting 'Galore' CD already in my collection. It was a great surprise to see how many albums Kirsty had recorded in such a short time. Having never heard them the first time round, it is a great pleasure to confirm that every one of these releases have stood the test of time. I simply love 'See That Girl', 'There's A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He's Elvis' and 'Just One Look'. Various styles, but to me every track is great on first hearing. Love the country version of 'There's A Guy ....' Played this CD continuously today and it has grown on me with each play. The CD's are in a fold-out cardboard design with superb booklets enclosed. Buy this and then add the other releases issued by Salvo. Will certainly buy the new 'Best of' due in February 2013.
Phil R J
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kirsty MacColl, 26 Dec. 2012
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Mr. A. Mowatt "humour magnate" (scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Desperate Character (Audio CD)
Kirsty MacColl was a singer that was greater than she got credit for. For those that didn't know her work; to read a review of any of it would give testament to her standing in British music scene.

Regrettably Kirsty lost her life in an accident whilst attempting to shield her children from a speeding motor boat whilst on holidays. She basically responded to the situation like most mother's would do, given the circumstances. Tragically for her family and for the British music scene we lost a good un.

Anybody that is familiar with her work will not be disappointed in this CD.
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Desperate Character by Kirsty MacColl (Audio CD - 2012)
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