Age of Chance


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They had their chance...and they blew it. Age of Chance's solidly intriguing debut album had been a couple years ahead of its time upon its 1987 release, but by the time the band recorded the follow-up, 1989's Mecca, Age of Chance had bowed to pressure from its record company, replacing distinctive original singer Steven Elvidge with the comparatively nondescript Charles Hutchinson, who has a perfectly fine but undistinguished voice. Similarly, the rough edges that made the debut so exciting are all but gone here, leaving a much poppier album of obvious chart attempts, like the single "Higher Than Heaven." While there's little that's actively bad about the album, it sounds utterly faceless; even the token attempts at re-creating the clattering noise of the debut, like the opening "Four More Years," sound tired and washed-out. Meanwhile, Pop Will Eat Itself pretty much photocopied the sound of 1987's One Thousand Years of Trouble -- even baldly ripping off the cover art for their own This Is the Day album -- and became stars. Some bands should never, ever listen to what the record company tells them to do.

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