Richard Marx

Rush Street

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Richard Marx's 1991 release, Rush Street, is a varied album that was billed as "the dark side of Richard Marx," and was also his last true rock & roll album (subsequent releases found him venturing almost exclusively into the adult contemporary domain). Rush Street explores different musical territories, with almost each song emerging as a cautionary tale in some form or another. The album kicks off to a rocking start with the bluesy "Playing With Fire" and the harmonica-enhanced "Love Unemotional." "Superstar" finds Marx in a funky mode, "Big Boy Now" is a catchy ballad that could have been a single, and "Streets of Pain" and "I Get No Sleep" (the latter featuring Billy Joel banging away at a piano) come straight out of '80s arena rock. The true gems on this set, however, are the three singles, which rank among Marx's most compelling recordings. "Keep Coming Back" is a sultry, sexy, and downright cool R&B jam, with Luther Vandross' background vocals adding a spellbinding quality. "Take This Heart" is an exuberant, up-tempo hit, and the real winner, "Hazard," a dark, brooding ballad about a small-town murder, remains Marx's most haunting, unique, and memorable recording. Rush Street may not be as strong as its two predecessors, and also doesn't contain anything in the vein of "Right Here Waiting" or "Hold on to the Nights," but fans of first-rate songwriting and straight-ahead rock will surely not be disappointed.

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