17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
mellowed punks' last moments of greatness,
By A Customer
This review is from: Dreamtime (Audio CD)
After several years of risky experimentation in the aftermath of punk, the Stranglers gradually mellowed, the culmination of this maturation being "Dreamtime". The album opens with the classic "Always The Sun", a beautiful, haunting tune, inspired by JJ Burnel's interest in Zen Buddhism - the song is still performed live by the band today. "Dreamtime" reveals Hugh Cornwell's love of double entendre, combining an attempt at seduction with a desire to embrace Aboriginal beliefs! "Nice in Nice", JJ's irrevent look at the band's antics in Nice several years earlier, which earned them a spell in prison for inciting a riot, and "Big in America", Hugh's cynical take on pop bands' obsessions with breaking America (ironic given that the Stranglers' failure to do so was one of the reasons he cited for subsequently leaving the band!) show the Stranglers at their wittiest, and with great melodies! "Ghost Train" and "Too Precious" work less well, although providing ample evidence of the band's musical virtuosity, something which earned them much contempt from their punk peers! "You Always Reap What You Sow" a melancholy lament on slide guitar, and the swing combo "Shaking Like A Leaf" show Hugh pushing the band in new directions, with mitigated success. "Was It You?" shows JJ in punk mode again -a kind of 80s version of "Something Better Change" ... with a brass section! Ultimately, fans will want to buy this album for "Always The Sun" the band's last moment of glory and their swansong - after one more album Hugh left the band to focus on his solo career and the Stranglers continued, with lesser success, with a new lead singer, although both Hugh and the band remain incredible live acts.