Murray Head

Restless

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Produced by Steve Nye, Restless sounds quite good and timeless for an LP from 1984, especially when compared to the horribly dated Sooner or Later (1986) or Murray Head's hit, "One Night in Bangkok," a product of the new wave. The singer was trying to regain his quickly vanishing fame, but he did not compromise his music, at least not completely. "When You're in Love" is a typical soft rock ballad, its chorus catchy yet still easy to forget. "Modern Boy" and "Peril in Venice" emulate some of the tricks Phil Collins used in his more atmospheric songs early in his solo career. But then one also finds the strange "African Tourists" and "Salvation," which includes a chorus of African voices. As usual with Head, lyrics tend to be a little naïve, well-intentioned but somewhat simplistic, like in the cliché-ridden Mafia song "Mario." Luckily there's the voice -- distinctive, emotional, and well-used. As the music market was more and more turning to standardization and focusing on a search for the ultimate hit single, Head kept on recording albums of intelligent pop songs, although he had to strip them down, leaving his more arty ambitions behind. That's why Restless doesn't come close to the power of 1981's Voices.

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