Gene Loves Jezebel

Heartache

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Arena glam pop for the American masses, "Heartache" fixed GLJ's star firmly into the U.S. sky, a bright light that began rising when their previous single "Desire" first hit the airwaves. Equally rousing, "Heartache"'s insistent sing-along chorus was a winner, while the verses had a bruised sense of yearning that placed this song far beyond most pop/rock fare of the period, accentuated by the Aston twins' always evocative vocals. James Stevenson's guitar leads soar heavenwise, counterpointed by Jay Aston's exquisite 12-string jangly guitar riffs, while the rhythm section punctuates the song with sublime beats. The flips showcase other facets of the band. The infinitely moody "Deli Babies" was post-punk-esque in style, but sliding further back in time, via a prominent bassline that was deeply indebted to Japan. The instrumental "Before Doubt"'s haunting melody is awash in exquisite guitars; the song's arrangement was later rejigged, and with lyrics added, transformed into the Discover track "Beyond Doubt." There's also an obligatory extended mix of "Heartache," as was de rigueur in the day, giving the song even more dancefloor punch. It was singles like this that made the Jezzies stars.

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