Golden Earring

Face It

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Face It is a result of the acoustic touring that Golden Earring had been doing around the time of this 1994 album's release. Recorded live at guitarist George Kooyman's home studio, the album has a spontaneity and a hand-crafted touch that had been missing from the group's output since the mid-'80s. However, the fact that Face It was recorded live in the studio doesn't mean the album is lacking in polish; the songs are tightly arranged and work in a number of big production touches like string sections, backup vocalists, and unexpected instruments like the accordion. The result is an album that manages to sound lush and lively at the same time. Highlights include "Hold Me Now," a spirited power ballad built on a rousing chorus that is given an extra punch by soaring strings, and "The Unforgettable Dream," a mid-tempo tune with a beguiling, Spanish-flavored melody and plenty of tasty acoustic guitar. The band also throws in plenty of full-tilt rockers like "Liquid Soul," a drum-driven tune that allows Cesar Zuidewijk to show off his percussive prowess, and the barnstorming finale "Legalize Telepathy." The one real problem with Face It is that it settles for being good instead of reaching for greatness; its songs are well-written and given spirited performances, but none of them leap out of the speakers with the instantly accessible hooks of "Radar Love" or "Twilight Zone." As a result, Face It won't win Golden Earring any new fans, but remains a solid, energetic release that will keep the group's fan base happy.

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