Malcolm Burn

Redemption

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After the dissolution of Boys Brigade, there were significant expectations for lead singer Malcolm Burn's solo career; after all, Boys Brigade had managed to send two new wavish hits up the Canadian charts and had also received strong critical notices for their lone album. Burn, however, seemed to be more interested in pursuing career opportunities behind the boards as a producer than as a singer, and Redemption ended up being his lone solo effort. The curious will find that the songwriting here is more experimental than on Boys Brigade's self-titled LP, and attentive listeners will quickly pick up on echoes of U2, Lou Reed, and Gary Numan in the various mixes by Daniel Lanois, Burn, and others (although the most obvious reference point here in terms of sound is Heroes-era David Bowie). Unfortunately, Burn doesn't possess the superstar charisma of any of the aforementioned performers, which means that most of Redemption's tracks sound like pleasant, well-produced knockoffs of material by better artists, and the album as a whole ends up sounding more like a forum for Burn to try out various production techniques than it does a cohesive musical vision. A few individual tracks stand out, particularly the eerie, synth-driven "Humans Can Talk," but based on Redemption, Burn, while a decent performer, made the right decision when he subsequently curtailed his solo career to concentrate on the much more promising field of production work.