Wall of Sound: CD Reviews
Del Amitri: Some Other Sucker’s Parade
File Next To: Squeeze, XTC, Michael Penn Ladies, please–don’t be fooled by this Scottish band’s easy-to-love three-part harmonies and hook-filled songs. Sure, they’ll ensnare you in a heartbeat, but not far beneath the surface of singer Justin Currie’s voice lurks an untrustworthy, guilt-ridden two-timer. The man has great pipes, but don’t even consider bringing him home to Mom. On the band’s fifth, and nearly its best, album, Currie goes so far as to admit that he’s “No Family Man,” and that “What I Think She Sees” isn’t what he really is. Both are standout numbers on a CD of well-crafted tunes, nearly half of which are truly great.
For those who haven’t heard Del Amitri’s past hits (“Kiss This Thing Goodbye,” “Always The Last To Know, ” and “Roll With [sic] Me”), the band’s sound isn’t especially distinct–kind of a soft-shell, Stones-influenced bluesy pop-rock. But the addition of a new drummer and a second guitarist has energized their attack, and added extra sheen to their vocal arrangements. “Mother Nature’s Writing” soars with its high harmonies; “High Times” gets sly and sassy; and the witty leadoff single, “Not Where It’s At,” will remind discerning fans of XTC’s buoyant “The Loving.” What does make Del Amitri special, though, is Currie’s disarmingly, even startlingly, frank lyrics. “Love is such sweet blindness,” he sings, “’til you see it in the cruel light of day.” And on the alluring, even soulful “What I Think She Sees,” he simply states, “Just because I’m here don’t mean I can’t run out that door.” But what’s the use? Pop lovers, be they female or male, are going to fall for Del Amitri anyway.
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Submitted by Lori Royal-Gordon