I'm embarrassed of how much I like this record. It's one of the most over-produced, over-egged monstrosities of the type that was popular in the late 80's, but it certainly hits the right buttons. They took 4 years, and god knows how many musicians and producers, to make it, but at the centre is Roland Orzabal's great songs and voice (who was that other guy again?). The first two singles (Sowing and Advice) do wear thin after repeated listening, but the other tracks just seem to grow stronger. The cluttered production doesn't bother me, and there is a substance behind it. They can really write songs with dynamics and shape - Woman in Chains is a perfect example. Oleta Adams was given a kick start as guest vocalist and pianist on the album, but fewer people noticed the contribution of Nicky Holland, who co-wrote many of the tracks.
May 14, 2003