10cc

10 Out of 10

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After the success of Bloody Tourists, and the artsy excess of Look Hear?, Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman gave the rest of the band their walking papers, and recorded this album as a duo. Sounding fresh and energized, this was by far 10cc's best album since 1977's Deceptive Bends. Maintaining a mild case of the quirkiness of old, Stewart and Gouldman embrace some of their finest melodies on this release, allowing the songs to speak for themselves. "Don't Ask" is one of those great little pop songs that you think you've heard somewhere before, but haven't, and it should have been a massive single, but wasn't. "Memories," "Les Nouveaux Riches," and "Overdraft In Overdrive" all utilize a reggae backbeat, but are even more carefree than their 1978 single "Dreadlock Holiday!" Both members share the spotlight throughout, trading off lead and backing vocals with ease. Gouldman's vocals sound more confident than ever, while Stewart still sings like an angel (he'll melt your heart on "Don't Turn Me Away," and "Lying Here With You"). The only weak track in the bunch is the barroom blues track, "Listen With Your Eyes," which was probably written in their sleep. The U.K. and U.S. versions of the albums differ by a few tracks (the U.S. version replaces three songs with tracks recorded with Andrew Gold). Quite possibly the last great 10cc album, and certainly the last to sound like a true collaborative effort between Stewart and Gouldman.

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