Waving Not Drowning, released in 1982, was Rupert Hine's fourth solo album and followed the 1981 masterpiece Immunity. This time around, Hine settled for less daring studio work and a more direct approach. The piano takes center stage, relegating synthesizers to background atmospheres. It makes this set of songs closer to Peter Hammill's solo material from that period (although better produced and with an enhanced pop attitude). Waving Not Drowning marks a transition between its more disturbing predecessor and the rather colorless The Wildest Wish to Fly (1983). "Dark Windows," "The Sniper," and "The Outsider" are still artistically crafted songs and the album conceals numerous details (soft-spoken transitions, digital treatments, strange sounds) one could not find on more commercial LPs from the early '80s. Once again, Hine plays most instruments and is supported by guitarist Phil Palmer. Special guests include Phil Collins (percussion on one track), Chris Thomson (lead vocals on one track), and Geoffrey Richardson (guitars and viola on one track). The 2001 CD reissue on Voiceprint's imprint Misplaced added the B-side "Kwok's Quease," a tongue-in-cheek song on monosodium glutamate. This album does not have the force of impact of Immunity, nor does it show the subtle progressive rock influences found on it, but it remains an enjoyable piece of British synth-pop.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by François Couture