Tuesday Blue likes to think big. It seems as if everything on the group's 1988 album, Shibumi, is amplified: guitars loom like towering skyscrapers, drums pound with the ferocity of falling metal, and vocalist Michael Ryan bellows like an angry giant. There's little subtlety on Shibumi; unfortunately, there aren't many hooks, either. The first track, "Tunnel Vision," encapsulates Tuesday Blue's strengths. On that track thumping percussion and quivering basslines set the tone for Ryan's mountainous voice. When he roars, "Ooooooh/all I know is I'm hungry," he truly lets it rip, stretching his vocal cords like a rubber band. It's an indelible moment, one that will have listeners yearning for another song with similar impact. "Love Me Simple," with its lush synths and blistering riffs, comes close, but overall Shibumi doesn't fully utilize the group's talents. The band is unable to find the line between excess and restraint; in addition, the lyrics are mined with embarrassing clichés like "why can't I have my cake and eat it" and "our love is as fresh as the morning time air." U2's Adam Clayton is thanked in the liner notes, and the influence of U2, as well as the Fixx, Cactus World News, Big Country, and A House, can be detected throughout the LP. Judging from "Tunnel Vision" and "Love Me Simple," Shibumi could've been far better.
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AllMusic Review by Michael Sutton