The Alarm

Raw

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It's hard to avoid the conclusion that The Alarm's fifth new studio album, Raw, released six months after the career-summarizing hits collection Standards, was a contractual obligation record. Lacking promotion, it crept into the pop chart for a single week at number 161, while the title track earned some AOR and college radio play. Despite that title, this was another competent mainstream rock collection, its unnecessary highlight a cover of Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World." "Moments in Time" presented a ballad-tempo history of the band, always a sure sign of an impending breakup ("Creeque Alley," "The Ballad of Mott," etc.): "Somewhere we got lost along the way," sings Mike Peters. Sad, but true.

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