John Foxx

In Mysterious Ways

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Former Ultravox singer John Foxx's final solo album of the '80s put some distance between him and the stylish new romantic sound he helped pioneer. Instead, even though he played most of the instruments and returned to producing himself after working with Zeus B Held, In Mysterious Ways goes for a fuller, somewhat more organic sound. Foxx adds arena-style guitars on "Lose All Sense of Time" and "This Side of Paradise," and near-gospel-ish backing vocals on "Enter the Angel." The intrusions on his trademark chilly synth pop aren't always welcome, and even the lyrics employ a surprising amount of cliché ("Stars on Fire"). However, the more conventional trappings can't completely dilute Foxx's talent and sense of style, and the gentle, gorgeous title track is one of his best. After this outing, which failed to connect commercially, Foxx bowed out of music for more than a decade, returning in the late '90s with a new interest in ambient, Eno-esque soundscapes.

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