Cutting Crew never deserved the hacking they received from critics. Music reviewers lined up to throttle Cutting Crew's debut album, Broadcast, when it was released in 1986. The slick guitar rock on Broadcast may not have wowed the rock & roll intelligentsia, but it's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, an underrated collection of simple, heartfelt love songs and up-tempo pop that reside between the stylistic boundaries of new wave and mainstream rock. "(I Just) Died in Your Arms" and "I've Been in Love Before" immediately thrust Cutting Crew onto the U.S. charts; however, both songs aren't sufficient in summing up Broadcast's appeal. Nick VanEede's soulful croon is mesmerizing on "Any Colour" and "Sahara"; instead of bludgeoning the microphone with vocal histrionics common to late '80s rock, VanEede is thankfully restrained, imbuing every track with ample emotion. "Any Colour" should've been Cutting Crew's third hit, a moving tale of loneliness that easily draws the listener in, while the lovely "Sahara" captures the subtleties critics claimed Cutting Crew wasn't capable of. "One for the Mockingbird" and "Life in a Dangerous Time" are armed with stellar hooks. Cutting Crew somehow manages to incorporate guitar solos with the propulsive rhythms of U2 and the Fixx and the moody angst of Tears for Fears without sounding forced. Broadcast is not a creative breakthrough; it's simply an LP absent of any filler.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Michael Sutton