Billy Squier

Creatures of Habit

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Sometimes you just have to feel sorry for poor Billy Squier. After holding the keys to the kingdom on 1981's Don't Say No and its follow-up, Emotions in Motion (released the following year), it all went horribly wrong. Following a career suicidal video for "Rock Me Tonite" (which featured the singer flamboyantly rolling around a pink, satin, bed spread), Squier saw his fortunes crash quicker than the Titanic. Attribute it to his sexual ambiguity or call it to a case of bad timing, but from about 1986 forward, his fans had enough. His momentum had been stopped dead in its tracks. And although 1989's Hear and Now hinted at a whiff of comeback potential, commercially speaking, 1990's Creatures of Habit went absolutely nowhere. Not that this album is a terrible record per se. Produced by close friend Godfrey Diamond and Squier himself, the album gets off to a promising start with "She Goes Down" (replete with annoying early '90s cheese synth sounds). The track is a typically well crafted, well executed, Squier pop song. "Lover" apes its intro from Bad Company's "Are You Ready for Love?" before bursting into another solid rocker. However, things quickly go south from here. Songs like "The Stroke"-derived "Nerves on Ice," "Hollywood," and "Hands of Seduction" are all generic and lack imagination. The album concludes with a "Purple Rain" meets "Waiting on a Friend" disaster which, unbelievably, harnesses its melody from "Crimson and Clover." This bizarre pastiche brings the album to its merciful conclusion.

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