China Crisis

Warped by Success

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After the relative failure of the Walter Becker-produced Diary of a Hollow Horse album in 1989, the five piece lineup went their separate ways. Five years later, original duo Eddie Lundon and Gary Daly reunited and released this low-key affair, which retained the sophisticated sound of their latter days with the simple, stripped-down production of their early days. Daly remains a unique and intriguing vocalist and songwriter, with Lundon proving to be the perfect straight man to his oddities. The Steely Dan-ish "Hands on the Wheel" is a wonderful Lundon track, but its mid-tempo groove does not make it the perfect album opener (it would fit snug in the track four slot, though). "Everyday the Same," the first single, may not have set the charts on fire, but it's a classic China Crisis single, with a great melody and a nice groove. "Without the Love," "Good Again," "Wishing Time," "Thank You," and "Always" are great additions to the China Crisis catalog, with typically pretty melodies and tender, personal lyrics. Production-wise, the album is wrapped in a sentimental mood with plenty of aural empty spaces floating within the music, adding a hauntingly human feeling to the electronics. Perhaps this isn't the band's best album to date, but it's one that should be sought out. (A few years after this album was released, Snapper/Recall Records released a two-disc set called Wishful Thinkin', which contained this album and it's follow-up Acoustically Yours.)

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