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Richard Butler

Richard Butler

Review by Greg Olma

I have never really listened to The Psychedelic Furs. I would hear a song in passing but I was never really a fan. That's not to say that they do not have something to offer, it is just that I tended to stay more in the metal side of things. Based on this album, I am going to research more of Richard Butler's music. Each track on offer here is a solid piece of music that collectively sound very similar but upon further plays, each tune has a life of its own. One track will be depressing while the next is upbeat. The album is a collection of moods and emotions that ultimately leave you feeling good. If you are going to be taking a road trip any time soon, I suggest bringing along this CD. It is great driving music.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Good Days Bad Days
The album starts off with this tune that builds as it moves along. It is almost folk-ish with falsetto vocals. It also is keyboard driven and sounds like it could have been a track off of Marillion's Holiday In Eden. The guitar solo that ends the track is very much in the Steve Rothery vein.
California
That building up as the song continues is also evident here. It starts off with a very mellow almost digital metronome way. The rest of it somehow reminds me of driving down the highway along the coast of California.
Breathe
An acoustic guitar kicks off this haunting track. As the song progresses, keyboards are added for depth. This is a cool tune but its sound is very depressing.
Satellites
At just over 4 minutes, this is the shortest cut on the disc. There is some guitar work that has that dirty, distorted grunge sound. It kind of ends abruptly leaving me with the feeling that it was not quite finished.
Broken Aeroplane
This is probably the heaviest cut on a relatively mellow album. At times, Richard Butler's vocals come really close to sounding like Peter Gabriel's. This is the highlight of the CD.
Milk
Even though this is a mellow tune, it is has an upbeat spirit about it. There is a nice orchestral wash over the whole track that mixes guitars and keyboards really well.
Nothing's Wrong
The first thing that comes to my mind is Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb." Aside from some of the lyrics, this has a very lullaby-like feel.
Second to Second
A little bit of Spanish flavor is the main ingredient in this mood piece. The guitars and drums really drive that Spanish sound and it has a European feel that would make great driving music on a Sunday afternoon in Spain.
Last Monkey
Weird sound effects start off this cut. Eventually acoustic guitars and distant vocals come in. The drums sound distant also and the overall feel of the track is of outer space.
Sentimental Airlines
This is mainly an acoustic guitar and drum song. Of all of tunes on the album, this one is the most commercial pop. The middle of the piece has a bit of Pink Floyd sound, compliments of the keyboards.
Maybe Someday
Another upbeat track finishes off the album in fine form. This could easily have been a Peter Gabriel tune. As the song ends, it gets a bit more orchestral. After it was over, I found myself wanting to listen to the disc again.
 
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