P. Hux


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Deluxe offers a "rockish" take on classic pop, drawing partial inspiration from band leader Parthenon Huxley's previous songwriting credits with Sass Jordan, Dave Wakeling, and Foreigner. The results find fake British inflections, meaty harmonies, psych-tinged guitar lines, Monkees-style tamborines, and subtle uncentered bits (reminding one, in places, of early Max Webster) often undercut by hard rock drum patterns and squealing Gibsons. It's a difficult balancing act to maintain effectively; tracks like "It'll Be Alright" strive to maintain a rough-edged alternative hue while others, like forced-anthemic "Every Minute," could easily be rearranged for Bon Jovi or Def Leppard. It's a brave gamble, and when the band does hit the right formula blend, there's magic on the airwaves. Spin "So Good" in heavy rotation on rock radio and watch national speeding infractions and accident rates skyrocket. The chiming on "Live like a King" is so pure that you'd swear Huxley's guitar was wired through a cathedral belfry. Even when Deluxe falters, the attempt is never less than admirable, bringing to mind a favorite line from the disc's keenly penned "Keep from Crying": "We see it perfect in our eyes/But in real life we compromise.../And when the perfect vision dies, we say so what?'/To keep from crying."

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