Transvision Vamp

Velveteen

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For a period in the late '80s, Transvision Vamp seemed to be everywhere in the U.K. Mainly, it was lead singer Wendy James and her sex kitten image on the magazine covers. Velveteen was the band's second release of their Blondie-like bubblegum rock. It will never go down as a great album, but Velveteen has its own definite charms. James' vocals are hardly impressive, but they are endearing in a childlike manner. It's a style that fits the simple fun of the lyrics on the stomping "Baby I Don't Care" and the new wave rocker "I Want Your Love." It's hard not to want to scream along with the choruses. "The Only One" is hyperkinetic with a slight disco touch. The lack of ideas catches up to them as the second half starts to sound familiar, but they close things strongly with the epic-length title track. Strings lend a bit of drama to a song that shifts from pummeling, tribal rock to dreamy pop to garage band rock to quasi-lounge music with James giving one of her better vocal performances. Velveteen is an enjoyable and effortless listen.

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