Man on the Line
is something of a comedown from Chris de Burgh’s previous, superb 1982 album The Getaway
, although there's still much to like.
There's less extravagance here from a lyrical point of view, with no battles of Armageddon (although "The Sound of a Gun" addresses war issues), and the words are accompanied by a somewhat more straightforward musical style that paints a less exciting picture.
There are still many impressives moments, however, none more so than the irresistible single "High on Emotion", while "The Sound of a Gun" is suitably mysterious with its whispering female vocals in the chorus (Tina Turner is credited as appearing somewhere on the album, and I'm not sure if that's her?).
"Taking It to the Top" finds De Burgh approaching his melodious best. Then there's "The Head and The Heart", which could be seen as a 'typical' de Burgh ballad, but he just knows how to do them so well.
The album's first half is better than the second half (although "Moonlight and Vodka" is fairly heartfelt), as if de Burgh were running out of inspiration by the end, but Man on the Line
still has many highlights, and is a fine listen overall. Rated:
by Reviewer: The Doctor