Thompson Twins fourth album was the big one for them, with the corny yet charming hit "Hold Me Now" leading the way, followed by "Doctor! Doctor!" and - to a lesser extent - "You Take Me Up".
And yet the album's something of a comedown from their previous excellent Quick Step & Side Kick
. With that album, their apparently standard brand of synth/pop benefited from some innovative songwriting and a quirky sense of humour. On Into the Gap
, things really are more standard.
Every song, with occasional slight variations, follows the routine of verse-chorus-verse-chorus-instrumental break-chorus, and that repetitiveness is particularly notable when "Day After Day" comes around, since it's quite obviously a retread of "Doctor! Doctor!", especially with the very similar instrumental break.
That's not to say there isn't much to like here however. The songs still hold plenty of melodious appeal, from the bouncy "You Take Me Up" to the haunting "Sister of Mercy" (seemingly about domestic abuse which leads to murder), although the highlight for me is undoubtedly "The Gap", which is notably also the only song that doesn't have the title starting the chorus. With its Middle Eastern flavour, grunts, claps, and flying chorus, it's the band at their best.
Like Quick Step
, this album tails off a bit towards the end. The final two songs - the sleepy "Storm on the Sea", and "Who Can Stop the Rain?" (the latter with words that match "Hold Me Now" for disarming corn) - are both quite reasonable but slight, and neither really justify their 5+minute running time.
by Reviewer: The Doctor