Album review: UNRULY CHILD – Can’t Go Home

UNRULY CHILD - Can't Go Home

Frontiers [Release Date 24.02.17]

It’s been six long years since Unruly Child made a triumphant comeback with their original line up featuring Marcie Free, as she now is, releasing the excellent ‘Worlds Collide’ album and headlining Firefest that year.

Opening track ‘The Only One’ marks their return in promising style with a good hook and layered vocals, albeit masked by a rather cluttered instrumental production. The arrangements are more spacious on the rest of the album, but it takes a downward turn with a series of bland, mellow and directionless numbers that remind me at times of Mike and the Mechanics and others guitarist Bruce Gowdy and keyboardist Guy Allison’s band World Trade.

‘She Can’t Go Home’ is a fine, atmospheric ballad, but too often the album descends into a yacht rock blandness, accentuated by the album cover and nautical metaphors (‘See If She Floats’). While technically sound, the album seems to lack passion and even Marcie’s fine voice, which in the days of Signal and the Mark Free solo album conveyed heartbreaking emotion, struggles to invest the songs with any fervour.

Belatedly things look up with the hi-tech prog of ‘Sunlit Sky’, which closes with fine guitar and synth solos, and ‘Someday Somehow’ which is an uptempo AOR anthem, only spoiled by inexplicable fake crowd noise.

I may be doing the album a disservice, but its mellowness will come as a disappointment to those expecting a repeat of Unruly Child’s 1992 debut or even ‘Worlds Collide’.  ** 1/2

Review by Andy Nathan




 

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 20 December., imbued with a festive flavour to raise the spirits

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David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 20 December 2020 and announces the results of the Popular Poll for Best of 2020.

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Featured Albums w/c 11 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 UNRULY CHILD Our Glass House (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 SERGEANT STEEL Truck Tales (Boyz Tyme Records)
14:00-16:00 DAN REED Liftoff (Zero Entertainment)

Power Plays w/c 11 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BLACK SPIDERS – Good Times (Dark Riders Records/Cargo Records)
GRAVITY MACHINE Standing Stones (Zyse Records)
EMPIIRES Love Or Hate (TLG Entertainment/INgrooves)
RAY FENWICK Tam Tam (Singsong Music)
DEAD REYNOLDS Voices (The Fort)
LAYLA ZOE Don’t Wanna Help Anyone (indie)



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