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Thoughful but over-engineered
on 16 November 2015
Listening to Fragile, it's a mystery as to why Ure isn't commissioned to write more film and TV music, because there is a cinematic scope to much of what's on offer here and he's clearly a talented composer, performer and sound engineer. But, overall Fragile sounds too concerned with the technology of making music, and not enough with the emotion of singing and telling stories. That's strange, because on his live recordings just the opposite is true, and you've only got to listen to the recently released Breathe Again CD to hear what a strong vocal Ure can turn in.
Here, his voice is tucked away and flattened by the electronic landscape he moulds around the songs. Much of it could be eighties synth pop re-mastered, but here and there are glimpses of what the album could have been - soaring melodies and rhythms that, with a bit of paring back, could have been really powerful. It's up there with Move Me - which I thought was a good album, and certainly a three and a half star rather than four star album. But the sheer power of Ure live is not re-captured in the slightly empty and over-engineered sound he has produced here.