For 20-something years, the Fixx have always been misunderstood. During the band's well-deserved brush with fame in the '80s, the band were often labeled 'synth pop', even though the main elements of the band's sound have always been Cy Curnin's emotive voice, and Jamie West-Oram's distinctive guitar. Rupert Greenall's keyboards have added atmosphere and feeling to the band's sound, but the Fixx are not (and have never been) a synth pop band. And when other '80s bands are reuniting for 'nostalgia's sake' (ie: big money), the Fixx have always been with us because it's what they love to do. Curnin, West-Oram, Greenall, and drummer Adam Woods started the band 25 years ago, and all four are still creating vital music together in 2003. The Fixx are one of the few bands that can maintain a distinct sound while maturing with every release. Want That Life is their first studio album since 1998's Elemental, and is the most consistent album they've released since the classic Reach the Beach in '83! With new bassist Gary Tibbs (Roxy Music, Code Blue, Adam & The Ants, Vibrators, etc), the band is as mesmerizing as ever. With songs structured around intimate grooves and Curnin's ageless voice, this is an album that draws the listener in, song by song. "Touch," "Are You Satisfied," "No Hollywood Ending," and "Straight 'Round The Bend" are filled with a warm and welcoming vibe (thanks to producer Martin Rex). "You Don't Have To Prove Yourself" and "Taking The Long Way Home" are uplifting slices of pop. The world music rhythms of "We Don't Own The World" only enhance Curnin's anti-war lyrics, creating a track that is both intelligent and infectious. Although there are no sure-fire 'hit singles' on this album, there are ten songs that prove that the Fixx are still an important band. If comparisons are in order, then this is their Avalon (Roxy Music). If you gave up on them years ago (shame on you!), then it's time to see what they are up to today.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Schnee