Cy Curnin

The Returning Sun

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On 2005's Mayfly, lead singer of the Fixx Cy Curnin had mainstream keyboardist Bill Champlin and guitarist Bruce Gaitsch (both of Chicago/Peter Cetera fame) working with him; but fear not, with Lou Reed/Marianne Faithfull bassist extraordinaire Fernando Saunders, and the equally "faithful" (to Curnin's solo work) Billy Ward, Curnin comes up with a super contemporary album of pop hooks and high-tech sound on this outing, The Returning Sun, released two years after Mayfly . Opening track "We Might Find It" nicks exactly from the "Don't You (Forget About Me)" Simple Minds riff, recycling it 22 years after that song hit number one. And if track two, "Remember Me When I'm Gone," isn't playing with the Simple Minds title ("...don't you forget about me when I'm gone..."), well, going to that source and bringing it back to the future is the trick, and this veteran artists pulls it off majestically. "Falling Apart Together" blends Europop with just a dash of some machine shop industrial to very good effect. Meanwhile, the title track eases up a bit, perhaps some techno/folk with island flavorings, reverse reggae under a very nice melody. Real staying power here, "The Returning Sun" possibly being a double entendre -- some musical prodigal son returning to his roots -- perhaps in light of what went down on the Mayfly disc! All ten songs are under ten minutes, except for "The Future's Not What It Used to Be," maybe a nice theme song for a Terminator 4 movie? The packaging is elegant on Curnin's own record label and the music is easy to absorb. "Nothing Is Normal" would fit onto any Fixx album, and that's a good thing; the voice is strong and the message is communicated. Clark Stiles programs a wonderful "The World Will Always Turn," solid progressive pop that could easily fit onto Top 40 play lists -- and should. The stereo separation is great and there's loads of creativity keeping the tracks fresh enough to warrant repeated spins. Hopefully, the mates in his main band will embrace the final two tracks here for "Damned If You Do" also has something special to groove to, and an attractive production mixing gloss into the sound spaces. The Returning Sun is an impressive disc from Curnin and "Nothing Is Normal" keeps coming back as a standout on a collection rippling with potential.

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