Murray Head

Sooner or Later

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For Sooner or Later, Murray Head changed his ways and went for a more synthetic sound. Steve Hillage produced the album, a keyboard and drum programming affair for the most part. The singer's usual collaborators during the '80s, guitarist Geoffrey Richardson and keyboardist Peter Veitch, contributed a few takes, each buried among the layers of synthesizers. Singers Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin also provided some backing vocals. Head's writing has rarely been this mainstream, his pop songs relying now exclusively on catchy melodies. The coldness of the arrangements does not help the lack of excitement that plagues this album. The opener, "You Are," seems to contradict this assessment, since it stands as the best single the singer released during the second half of the decade. But what comes after is bland and forgettable. The main subject is love, with little variations. One exception: Richardson's "Paper Thin," a solid track, touching despite Hillage's production and worthy to appear on a best-of collection. The CD reissue on Headcase (2001) includes two bonus tracks, "Picking up the Pieces" and "Some People"; they bring little more to the album and short circuit the attempt "Wanderer" makes at an atmospheric ending.

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