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This review is from: High'n'Dry (Audio CD)
Not an out and out triumph but a very pleasing album that feels comfortable rather than loud and in your face. Although I suppose for the early 80s this was rather edgy (ish) music. DL have gradually grown as a band and their main strengths lie in good, honest rock. Their weaknesses are forays into party-rock and whimsical melancholy. That said, High & Dry consists mainly of the good stuff!
'Let it Go' has an infectious riff that permeates the song. It's not a true classic but it does a rather good job of creeping into your head. 'Another Hit & Run' is rather plodding and pedestrian but has a certain charm that raises it above simply 'ok'. It's also too long as there are no real memorable hooks. It's akin to a lot of AC/DC tracks without being half as good. The title track is made of better stuff while ironically being a party tune. It's not cringeworthy like some of their later efforts and is genuinely quite fun. It's with 'Bringing on the Heartbreak' where the album finds its feet. It is a ballad but it is a hard rockin' one that is slightly cheesy without being mawkish. A quality example of early DL and a blueprint for later classics such as 'Love Bites'. 'Switch 625' is an instrumental and is a very typical, driving, semi-epic track. It chugs along with assorted solos and rhythms and is a rather nice interlude.
'You Got Me Runnin' is another winner. Great chorus and a rockin tune. Very singalongy. And 'Lady Strange' has a great swagger to it. It's just very good rock music. 'On Through the Night' is slightly reminiscent of early Iron Maiden. The rapid-fire riff and old-skool feel adds to its charm. It's not a great track but it does feel dark and perfect for an 'on-the-road' song. 'Mirror Mirror' keeps up the good work with a more serious tone. The chorus is almost chilling which is something they have never been able to recreate except on the excellent Retroactive. 'No no no' unfortunately ends the record in a very mediocre style. It's DL with no thought or finesse. The bonus tracks don't add much as 'Bringing on the Heartbreak' was good enough in its original state and 'Me & My Wine' is very similar to 'No no no'.
There are no classics as such but a great deal of very good songs can be found after a few listens. Despite this, it is still only a middling collection at best. Better was to come...