If earlier Steel Pulse albums occasionally suffered from slick production and superfluous synthesizer parts, at least the band's lyrical gifts and songwriting talents overcame those flaws. Unfortunately, on State of Emergency, the production completely overwhelms the songs, which are, sad to say, not that strong in the first place. Every song here is covered with layer upon layer of shrill, tinny synthesizers, all of which sound painfully corny and dated. Adding insult to injury, the lyrics and music are poorly conceived and clumsily developed. The gist of "Hijacking," apparently, is that hijackings are bad, while "P.U.S.H." salutes the Jesse Jackson organization by merely repeating the acronym over and over in between simplistic entreaties to peace. The silly lyrics are bad enough, but married to muddled, forgettable music, they sound unbearable. Only a handful of moments, such as the guitar leads in "Steal a Kiss" or the melody and rhythms of "Said You Was Angel" serve as reminders of the classic Steel Pulse of old, but these are too small to ultimately redeem the album. State of Emergency is an embarrassing debacle from a once great band.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Victor W. Valdivia