The Damned have made a career out of challenging our expectations of them and in this respect (up until, that is, the truly lamentable 'Anything') 'Phantasmagoria' could be said to have been their most 'challenging' album - but for all the wrong reasons. For your money you get nine songs only, one being the turgid 'Trojans', an instrumental more suited to be the background music for some unwatchable American eighties suspense movie than a Damned album. 'Street of Dreams' and 'There'll Come A day' mock the manic excellence of earlier classics like 'Liar' or 'Dozen Girls' with their sub-Lloyd Webber 'rock' posturings. Lyrically, it's a squirming embarrassment: "when you walk down the street of dreams, you gotta hold your head up high...". Did Bono write this stuff?! There is, however,one genuinely good song on this LP. 'Grimly Fiendish' is a great pop song and a proper Damned song. Quirky, bouncy and cheeky, it flies high above those other Phantom of The Opera outtakes. If you like this album, then it confirms my opinion that you were not a proper Damned fan in the first place. (P.S. The last two albums are great. Buy those instead.)
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