The Walker Brothers

Lines

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AllMusic Review by

The Walker Brothers intended recording the second of their comeback albums in Nashville. They returned from the sessions with just one demo and a burning hatred for everything they found there. "It's a place you go when you want to die," John Walker snapped, and the trio set to work in London instead. Lines, titled for the cocaine flavoring of the opening track, emerged a better balanced, but ultimately no more successful album than its predecessor, No Regrets. Still uncertain of their true role in the exciting world of mid-1970s pop, the Walkers remained torn between the big balladeering which had served them so well in the past, and the more experimental (or, at least, new) stylings which Scott, at least, was imbibing elsewhere. The end result erred on the side of caution, and painted the group firmly within the realms of middle-of-the-road radio fodder. The sacrifice, however, clearly rankled. Even on autopilot, Scott Walker can sing the pants off most other vocalists. But you can still tell that he is on autopilot, and so "Inside of You," Boz Scaggs' "We're All Alone," and "Lines" itself simply stumble around in search of some energy, then curl up and die before they reach the last chorus. Indeed, when the best song on a Walker Brothers album turns out to be one of John's efforts ("Taking It All in Stride"), you know you're in trouble. Maybe they should have stayed in Nashville after all.

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