Strange Streets

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Garfield's debut album is by far their most competent, mainly because the band was still enthusiastic after being signed by Mercury Records after they were spotted opening for 10cc. Strange Streets contains a handful of back-alley rock that gains a slight amount of novelty from Garfield French's nasally vocals and from the flute and synthesizer work of Chip Yarwood. The affectionate "Give My Love to Anne" was a Top 40 single in Canada, while "Old Time Movies" was a minor hit, combining a bit of folk-rock sentimentality with a surprisingly emotive French at the helm. Songs such as "Strange Streets," "Nanny's Song," and "Next Time 'Round" were similar to Prism's and Ian Thomas' material in their structure and light rock feel, but unlike those artists' work, Garfield's songs harbored a certain bar band ambience and amateurish demeanor that was too transparent to conceal. The lengthy "Eyes" picks up a lot of energy from the brilliant keyboard segments, but the rest of the track is weighed down by its prosaic '70s rock formula. Garfield's next album entitled Out There Tonight had the band running out of ideas, and after two more releases, the group finally called it quits.

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