Though Figures on a Beach were based in Michigan, they drew much of their inspiration from European new wave synth pop. Swimming, their 1983 debut EP, is an unsophisticated and unimaginative imitation of the Euro-pop innovators that preceded them. But it does contain a couple of engaging hooks. The title track is clearly the most accessible and the most adroitly constructed of the four songs, although it has simple keyboard arrangement that plinks along predictably with the melody. "Everything But Heaven" is also a catchy tune, making more extensive use of Ricci Ara's jangly guitars than the other tracks. "Feel Like Glass" and "Decay" are mostly aimless melodically and tend toward pretentiousness and angst lyrically. This EP does demonstrate enough talent to justify the major label attention received by Figures on a Beach four years later. But it also helps to explain why it took so long before the group was discovered.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Evan Cater