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Customer Review

on 16 May 2012
Further to the earlier reviews, I can add a bit. Firstly, this is in my opinion the best album he ever made in the contemporary genre. Since he's gone completely over to blues (happily) you can't make comparisons with the later body of work. But this is brilliant on several levels.

Firstly the lyrics are head and shoulders above any of his other albums for consistency, wit, irony and social comment. I agree with one of the other reviewers who referred to 10cc, since they were genii with wit. There's also a hint of Elton John, Eddie Floyd, the Commodores and others in the musical arrangements, whilst most of the album is awash with Rea's slide guitar playing, which I always loved. If you do too, check out any of Ry Cooder's albums.

Regarding the title track. It's not actually a reference to that old poster of the girl scratching he bare buttock in a tennis dress. It's actually a social comment on how warped the media are. I'll explain. During a match at Wimbledon way back then, a fairly obscure American girl player (who was actually a looker, which was the exception in those days!) actually succumbed to the temptation to scratch an itch in her nether regions whilst on TV. Of course this was considered very unacceptable and the given opinion was that she was well out of order in doing so. But the male viewers loved it!!! This is why in the song Rea sings "I don't want to go to work today, I wanna stay at home and watch that girl playing." The point of the song though, is that the world was at the time full of stories about Vietnamese boat people drowning in some far Eastern ocean, of women being raped on the motorway verges in the UK because their cars had broken down etc. In short, there was a lot of serious news going down and yet the daily papers (well, the red-tops anyway) led the day after the above-mentioned tennis incident with how disgusted they all were at this poor tennis player, whilst showing grainy pics of the girl going about the deed. Chris Rea is saying how hypocritical they were, condemning the poor soul whilst righteously flogging papers with pictures of the sordid deed all over the front pages, yet all over the world there were real tragedies needing to be highlighted.

The last track, "Stick it" is a bitter comment on industrial decay and the effect it has on the worker. It's actually a kind of precursor to the excellent "Steel River" on the later album "Shamrock Diaries".

All in all, if you like contemporary rock with a West Coast feel, yet performed by a Geordie, if you want to hear some excellent lyrics delivered in that "throat-full-of-gravel" voice of his whilst enjoying some fab slide guitar playing - buy this.
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Product Details

4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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