Then Jerico

The Big Area

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The second -- and, as far as most listeners were concerned, final -- album from London's Then Jerico stands as the group's defining moment, containing their biggest hit (the rousing, synth-rocking title track) and best presentation, courtesy of former Roxy Music producer Rhett Davies. His polished, sweeping soundscapes match the band's anthemic songwriting well, even if they do remove some of the live excitement that was also a staple of Then Jerico's appeal. The highs here are higher than on First (The Sound of Music), as singer Mark Shaw turns "Sugar Box" into the sort of epic ballad that eluded him previously, and overall is much less mannered than on the band's debut. As for the lows, there are less of them (the album clocks in at a reasonable 40 minutes), and Davies turns any potential problem spots -- having Belinda Carlisle match Shaw warble for warble on "What Does It Take" probably wasn't the best idea -- into very listenable, likeable arena rock. Not surprisingly, the album was very successful, although the group disbanded after touring behind it. Shaw later recruited a new Then Jerico lineup in the late 90's and released a third album, Orgasmaphobia.

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