The Church

Of Skins and Heart

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On their debut, Of Skin and Heart, the Church play straightforward pop/rock firmly rooted in new wave, though owing no small debt to '60s pop. Edgier and more direct than their later work, it also ranks among their finest for that very reason. None of the excesses and ambitions that would sometimes get out of hand on later releases are present, though much of the band's basic formula was laid down -- Steve Kilbey's cool, detached vocals and slightly surrealistic lyrics combined with some outstanding pop hooks, nice harmonies, and layers of ringing guitar. The classic "Unguarded Moment" (arguably one of the greatest singles of the '80s) overshadows much of the material on the album, but there is really no shortage of great songs here. [The album was originally released in the U.S. as The Church with some tracks dropped in favor of three tracks from singles released around the same time. In 1988, Arista released Of Skin and Heart on CD in its original form with the added tracks from The Church tacked onto the end.]

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