Nik Kershaw's third album is a step down from his first two, and it's a bit hard to put one's finger on what's wrong.
Maybe there just aren't as many instantly accessible or catchy songs of the kind found on Human Racing
and The Riddle
, even if none of the tracks are actually bad in any way. "L.A.B.A.T.Y.D." (Life's a Bitch and Then You Die) and "Life Goes On" are kind of plodding, while his return to the "Bogart" well with "James Cagney" just doesn't work as successfully.
Even the more rousing pieces like "Nobody Knows", which is good in itself, remain below his best, and is little more than a retread of the single-only (on the original LP release, which I have) "When a Heart Beats" that preceded this album. That song appears second-last on the CD reissue.
Then there's "What the Papers Say", a tongue-in-cheek observation on the media that's kind of fun, but he misses the boat by taking too-easy potshots at tabloids, rather than more serious journalism, and what's more "Weird Al" Yankovic had already done something similar with "Midnight Star" a couple of years earlier.
The album's highlights include the opening title song, with its driving rhythm and flying chorus, as well as "Running Scared", the delightful "Don't Let Me Out of My Cage" (although it would've been nice if the chorus had equaled the verses for melody) and the concluding Gospel-tinged "Violet to Blue".
has certainly got plenty going for it, but it remains something of a disappointment after Kershaw's previous albums, and its relative failure in sales at the time reflected that. Like his stablemate Howard Jones, Nik's days in the sunshine were starting to fade. Rated:
by Reviewer: The Doctor