Weapons of Love

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The sound of a group going for the commercial brass ring is often not a sweet one, and that was certainly true when former mods the Truth decided to trade their R&B roots for '80s rock bombast on this album. The title cut made clear the shift in allegiances: singer Dennis Greaves and guitarist Mick Lister (the only two remaining band members) had abandoned Paul Weller for Robert Palmer. That said, it made an agreeable single, in its sub-Power Station fashion, but the rest of the disc failed to meet even that modest standard. Aided by ex-Mr. Mister drummer Pat Mastelotto and keyboardist Paul Fox (who'd later go on to do better work as XTC's producer), Greaves and Lister filled each tune with layers of guitar and slick synthesizer moves, forgetting only the passion that had once endeared fans to the Truth. In fairness, Greaves' soulful vocals remain attractive here, but can't breathe life into material as dire as "The Edge of Town" or the drum machine-driven "Come on Back to Me," and sound a little silly counting off the intro to the blandly rocking "Respect," undoubtedly assembled piecemeal in isolation booths instead of as a band. The closest thing to the old Truth is probably the semi-energetic "This Way Forever," and the synth-cushioned chorus soon takes care of any actual excitement. Closing with "Soul Deep Fascination" is slightly ironic, given that there's almost no soul or depth at all to this album -- and you'd have to be pretty dull indeed to find it fascinating.

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