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love lost lyrics + sad tender vocals + majestic guitars = brilliance,
This review is from: Drawn to the Deep End (Audio CD)
Released 12 years ago now then 'Drawn To The Deep End' was Gene's 3rd LP (2nd proper) and their first for new label Polydor (i.e. no longer an Indie) and so here goes a track by track retrospective (both 2LP & CD reviewed).
'New Amusements' from a gentle guitar belching start we are suddenly thrust into an adrenaline driven power piece with Martin Rossiter pleading "I can bring you solace...on the bureau in my office I dream of you". (9)
'Fighting Fit' a blaze of illustrious guitars by Steve Mason. (9)
'Where Are They Now?' again great intelligent guitar work plus Martin's distinctive voice "You see I cannot stand alone I'm incapable of breathing incapable of love" workmanlike bass from Miles and drums from James! A truly marvellous melodic thrash! (9)
'Speak To Me Someone' pop art drama - strings & mellotron "Now you can tell me will I ever dream again". (9)
'We Could Be Kings' more drama via a slightly more gentle ballad - stirring lyrics "When I'm hungry and I'm cold will you feed me from your palm and shelter me from harm...can you love me?" A beautiful piece of mandolin doodling is inserted. (9½)
'Why I Was Born' could have been another single - a very pretty emotive ballad - more stirring lyrics "I really do want to show you I now know why I was born....My vision is clear but there's something in here screaming don't let me go!" A fine hammond organ sound with guitar crying out in apparent sympathy with the bittersweet lyrics. (10)
'Long Sleeves For Summer' opens side C of the 2LP - an acoustic guitar strum sheen. (8)
'Save Me, I'm Yours' the finery keeps blazing "Don't turn the light off and leave me...this bed feels cold and empty"! Truly beautiful guitar sounds (acoustic & electric) & lead vocal "But this room is like a gaol...in the arms of love all fail". Brilliance! Martin's great vocal shines via the backing. (10)
'Voice Of The Father' back to a heavy fuzz guitar attack but always a melody. A quiet classical piano section before final explosion! (8)
'The Accidental' gentle cracking atmospherics...a Kate Bush style lisp vocal via a certain Betsi Miller (Kate under a pseudonym?) adds interest "The blade flashed by". (8)
'I Love You, What Are You?' unsettling changes but majestic moments "Life goes on & so must you". Interesting drumming section. (8)
'Sub Rosa' pretty vocal over simple guitar before launching into full throttled heavy Gene machine. (8)
Four singles from it were 'Fighting Fit' Oct'96 #22 UK 50, 'We Could Be Kings' Jan'97 #31 UK 50, 'Where Are They Now?' May 97 #32 UK 50, & 'Speak To Me Someone' Aug'97 #30 UK 50.
A hard act to classify - love lost lyrics - sad tender strong vocals - majestic guitars - Gene! Surprisingly this excellent effort only made #8 in the UK album charts - at the time marking the beginning of a downward trend in Indie guitar based music popularity!