David Wilcox

Big Horizon

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Despite the critical acclaim for his two previous albums, David Wilcox appeared to be aware that he was about to be dropped by his label if he didn't break into the mainstream. While Big Horizon does contain some of his best work, it suffers from over-production and arrangements aimed squarely at adult radio. The album starts promisingly, with the upbeat tune "New World" that conveys the unbridled excitement experienced at the beginning of a new relationship. However, this new-found happiness doesn't quite suit Wilcox, as it also leads to goofy songs like "Block Dog" that don't pack enough punch to hold up with repeated listens. He is at his best in songs like "Someday Soon," one of his finest, where he seeks simple truths and turns the problems of relationships inside out to find the beauty within. Unfortunately, such insights are few and far between, and the arrangements too often reduce his guitar to just another instrument in the band when it deserves to be featured more prominently. He even sings two covers that represent the hit-and-miss nature of the album -- Wilcox's acoustic version of "It's the Same Old Song" manages to capture the heartbreaking lyrics that are often lost in the peppy Four Tops classic, whereas his mellow version of John Waite's "Missing You" saps the power from the original song with its bland arrangement. For die-hard fans only.

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