TV Smith / TV Smith's Explorers

The Last Words of the Great Explorer

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At least TV Smith has finally got a proper shake in England, as Cherry Red and Ojit have reissued his whole back catalog, starting with three Adverts titles (the out of print second LP, a singles collection, and a best-of) on Cherry Red, while the latter has gotten to Smith's first solo LP with his short-lived backing band, the Explorers. The Last Words of the Great Explorer is the only Smith album that needs to be approached with great caution, as he briefly flirted with a now badly dated new wave synthesizer sound that unfortunately was mixed way too high in an already over-produced record. But even this LP contains some superior writing: the title track and "The Unwelcome Guest" both struggle to hem in some of the biggest hooks Smith has ever penned, up there with "Gary Gilmore's Eyes" and later solo single "Third Term." Much better are some of the singles that preceded the LP, fortunately tacked on here as bonus tracks; it's easier to see how the astute antiwar diatribe "Tomahawk Cruise" made single of the week, for instance.

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