With 1987's Push, Virginia Wolf still seemed to have their heart set on a straightforward AOR sound. Unfortunately, they chose to focus on a keyboard-heavy sound that largely undercut the album's handful of rocking moments. Jason Bonham's presence behind the kit continued to get exposure for the group, and Chris Ousey's vocals were still strong. But Push's was led by prominent keyboard figures that brought it closer to the hit pop sound of Glass Tiger's "Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone)"; indeed "One Night" used the same synthesized trumpet sound to great effect. Later tracks like "Man in the Moon" and "Let It Go" were even more keys-driven, and in the face of such automation Push's occasional splashes of muscular guitar dissipated quickly. While his drums are effective throughout, Bonham's playing is never very noticeable, since reverb or the ever-present synths keep everything in soundalike territory. Even so, fans of the drummer or '80s AOR should take note of Wounded Bird's reissue of Push and Virginia Wolf's self-titled debut, since they are the albums' first time on CD.
by Johnny Loftus