Peter Godwin

Images of Heaven: The Best of Peter Godwin

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Oglio's Images of Heaven: Best of Peter Godwin features the original 1982 album Images of Heaven, with slight differences, plus three remixes and three new songs that have not been released in America before this disc. The three new songs begin the disc, which is a little disconcerting, but they're strong songs, especially "Rendezvous," and Godwin's attempt a Serge Gainsbourg-Jane Birkin duet. The album itself, Images of Heaven, is a fairly solid collection of '80s synth-pop, driven by texture as much as melody. Every instrument on the album is synthesized, which means it sounds a little dated, especially since the beats are regimented and mechanical. Nevertheless, Godwin has the nervous voice (slightly similar to David Byrne or Bryan Ferry) right for this material, and he can write a solid hook, especially on "Baby's in the Mountains," "The Dancer" and the title track. However, he's at his best on moody numbers like "Torch Songs for the Heroine" or his version of his old band Metro's "Criminal World," where the dance beat is subdued and the melodies are in minor keys, creating an eerie appeal. Those moments don't arrive often enough on Images of Heaven, and a few of the tracks are too stiff or slight to really register, but the record remains an interesting synth-pop artifact. Oglio's edition substitutes the single version of "Torch Songs for the Heroine," the 12-inch EP version of "Emotional Disguise," and the full-length version of "Images of Heaven" for the original album versions.

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