David Harrow

The Succession

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Although David Harrow became known in the '90s as one of the leading figures in the drop-dead cool U.K. subculture of jungle, his 1983 debut album is something entirely different. The Succession is overblown, po-faced synth rock that makes Harrow's labelmates Simple Minds and Japan sound as fun-loving and unpretentious as the Dictators. Much of it is rather ghastly, with Harrow proclaiming eye-rollingly silly pseudo-profundities in a goofy, portentous voice that only succeeds in making him sound ridiculous. However, there are three all-right songs, the atmospheric opener "Introduction," the Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark-style instrumental "Still Optimistic," and the jerky dance-rocker "Kick," and one genuinely good track, the single "Our Little Girl." By far the most melodic and memorable tune on the entire album, with the least embarrassing lyrics and the best production, "Our Little Girl" is a prime candidate for one of those "great lost singles of the '80s" compilations. The other half of the album is a compendium of everything that was wrong with one particular strain of early-'80s U.K. rock.

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