Go West’s second album (said in the liner notes to be inspired by a book called The Red Couch, A Portrait of America
) is a worthy successor to their self-titled debut of 1985, really something of an improvement, as it shows progression with versatility, while the lyrics range from relationships to thoughtfully topical, like the attack on the media in “Chinese Whispers”.
They touch on more jazzy/bluesy styles here at times, as with "Little Caesar" and "From Baltimore to Paris", although it's with "The King Is Dead" that they really cross the line there. While those pieces aren't entirely successful, they do each have something in the melodies and deliveries to grab the listener. Having said that, the similarly-styled "Crossfire" is a misfire.
But it's the more uptempo pop pieces that are the best, particularly "True Colours", the quirky "Let's Build a Boat", and the concluding "Dangerous", and while the opening "I Want to Hear It From You" - the second single from the album - falls short of the others, it's reasonable.
Peter Cox’s strong voice is once more another asset, although there are times when he still covers twice as many notes as it needs to, while the instrumentation is once more a nice blend of guitars and keyboards.
Go West waited five more years before releasing their next album, Indian Summer
, and that even included a surprise hit. So, unlike some other 80s pop acts, it seems these boys weren't all washed up by 1988. Rated:
by Reviewer: The Doctor