Roy Hollingworth

In the Flesh

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At the time this album was released, Hollingworth had been a veteran of rock's margins since the 1970s, first as a writer for Melody Maker, then as a sideman to Roger Ruskin Spear, and then as a frontman for New York band Roy & the Rams, with Lenny Kaye on bass. On this solo effort, he sounds rather like a mainstream Lou Reed minus Reed's acidic vocal edge, with perhaps some of David Bowie's detached iciness. That's not the worst thing in the world, and neither is it the most inspiring, not by a longshot. Further Bowie/Reed comparisons are sparked by his songwriting's emphasis on romantic musings in which pain and pleasure blur. Martin Turner of Wishbone Ash is on bass, and guitarist Robin Berlin's rich-toned guitar lines are impressive for their diversity, though the arrangements are a little too glossy and slickly executed.

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