Glide

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With Glide leader William Arthur's sad passing (apparently from an accidental heroin overdose), Australia's greatest 1990s talent left behind a five-song session he'd recorded in 1998. This was the start of a third LP and was accordingly being shopped to labels. As we see here, it was a set of songs and a new direction so brilliant it should have earned his 1991-1999 group a new record deal on the spot. But since Australia has its head up its ass commercially as bad as the U.S., no new contract was secured before Arthur left us. Damn. Remaining are those five songs, with four rather beautiful home-four-track recordings added. One marvels how he could nearly match the scintillating level of the dazzlingly brilliant Open Up and Croon and sublime, cooler Disappear Here. What is more unexpected is the gentler, lush pop slant he headed in. This is particularly highlighted by a re-recording of the terminally catchy "Always Fall," the song lightened but still as melodically divine as ever. It's just a more amiable mood, more genial and good-natured. This lighter touch is put to the best use on the opener, one of the great all-time Arthur achievements. With its piano riff leading the way, a salient bounce, and a tune that screams "hit single" from start to finish, the sublime "Baby Now" is an instant pop classic -- fresh, pretty, and thoroughly radiant. Importantly, the other seven new works are also characteristically accomplished. And when they are at their most hushed it shows another gentler side. Arthur will be missed by anyone who loves music in its highest capacity to move another human being. (Note: This final work is only available exclusively from the Glide website, at www.ozemail.com.au/~ryalljoe.