Kip Hanrahan

Desire Develops an Edge

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Desire Develops an Edge was originally released as a two-LP set in 1983; it was reissued on a single CD in 1994. It consists primarily of compositions by Hanrahan, who does not play any of the instruments but avails himself of a kaleidoscopic group of studio musicans that includes Americans (Arto Lindsay, Steve Swallow), Cubans (Puntilla Orlando Rios, Milton Cardona), and Haitians (Elysee Pyronneau, Jean Claude Jean), as well as one very prominent Briton -- former Cream singer and bassist Jack Bruce. As might be expected, there is quite a bit of complex and beautiful music on this album; highlights include the absolutely delightful "What Is This Dance, Anyway?" and "Don't Complicate the Life." But there's also an awful lot of downright tiresome music. The main offenders are an assortment of meandering songs with embarrassing lyrics: For example, the awful "Two (Still in Half-Light)" (which does benefit from the interplay between bassists Jamaladeen Tacuma and Steve Swallow") and the dumbly vulgar "Her Boyfriend Assesses His Value and Pleads His Case." On tracks like these, the session players lay down intricate beds of rhythm while Bruce sings no discernible melody whatsoever, thus obscuring the only thing really worth hearing. Overall, this is a fairly frustrating album.

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