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Anthemic is the word,
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This review is from: Arm In Arm (Audio CD)The mighty 'Dam are back with another selection of heartfelt lyrics and great big fat choruses to warm the spirit. Crowd pleasing lead single Home kicks things off in fine flag-waving style. With its fiddle and Uillean pipes, this track shows a slight return to the more Celtic-tinged feel of 'Dam predecessors Pele, as do both the title track and Nothing's Goin' Right. That's not to say the album is all twiddley-diddley: it's not. There are still the singalong stompers, the big ballads, and - in Hey Hilary - even a quiet/loud rocker. Amsterdam go grunge? Well, not quite, but it adds to the eclecticism that makes the album an altogether rounded listening experience.
As with previous album The Journey, Arm In Arm is a mixture of new songs and a few that have been around, albeit in different form, for a while. Diehard Amsterdamsters will allow themselves a wry smile as newbies enthuse about the charms of the rocking Lifestyle, the slightly funky You Are My Lover or the haunting Hatred Is Wasted, but perhaps the most welcome 'oldie' inclusion is that of beautiful closing track Feels Like Growing Up - long overdue the chance of a wider audience. The version here may be a little shorter than the 7 minute epic featured on 2001's self-released (and sadly now deleted) Attitunes, but is no less effective in raising the goosebumps.
Never one to shy away from baring his soul, Ian Prowse will sing about being on the receiving end of "a real kicking" in Hatred Is Wasted, or will reminisce about former lovers - including ex-bandmate Genevieve Mort - in The Lament (possibly the bounciest, catchiest "lament" you'll ever hear): intensely personal subject matter filled with genuine emotion and heartfelt sentiment. Yet still the masses think "emotion" is to be found in a Westlife karaoke ballad or a Whitney/Mariah/Celine squawkathon. Honestly. It's enough to make you want to chew concrete.
All in all, Arm In Arm is another big step forward in Amsterdam's move towards world domination. Which should happen any time now. You just watch...