This album from Level 42 was their most successful to date, and, for the first time, has a collection of songs without any instrumentals.
It's certainly very funky, and - early on - extremely catchy, with the likes of "The Sun Goes Down (Living It Up)" and the smooth "Out of Sight Out of Mind" two of the highlights. However, it soon gets rudimentary, with standard, pleasant songs that really don't leap out much. Then there's "A Pharaoh's Dream (of Endless Time)", which doesn't even jump slightly.
The lyrics - penned mostly by drummer Phil Gould - are well-meaning social commentary, but mawkish at times, and the words for "People" (written by vocalist/keyboardist Mike Lindup on that occasion), go beyond that into saccharine simplicity ... When they
(people) were young, they would wish for the summer evenings that would never end. Now the day's too long, and the key to life is locked away in childhood memories. Some people judge a man as reasonable if the wine he buys is seasonable - they've time for friendship if it's advantageous and causes no pain. Why are people so deceitful, why can't people just be people.
They don't even fit with the melody very well.
That's something of a shame, as Level 42 remain a very likeable band, and when they do hit their stride - even if they what they do is rarely all that demanding - it can be very rewarding. This album could have been so much better if the songwriting had more in the way of hooks for the tunes, and slightly more subtlety with the lyrics. Rated:
by Reviewer: The Doctor