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Strangeways: Age of Reason

Generally I give most reviews a first listen when I'm walking the dog. With Strangeways' new one I gave it its first and last one whilst hiking around the hills near my house. On the first listen I remember thinking, horrifically, that the artists which came to mind initially were U2 and Coldplay. Horrifically because I really can't stand either of those two bands and the only thing which separates Strangeways from them is that Strangeways are nowhere near as pompous as either.

The main drawback with this record is the tempo (same throughout) and attitude (far too laid back.) There's no sense of urgency or rocking intent until track nine "Frozen", and then disappointingly, this is arguably the weakest song on the album. This tempo problem got me thinking; who are the audience for Strangeways and who are the audience for Age of Reason?

Well, obviously the natural target audience for Strangeways are those who remember them from first time their around the block (that would be people like me who have a vinyl copy of Native Sons still next to the turntable) and I don't think that Age of Reason necessarily serves this audience although obviously Terry Brock has lost none of his talent and I did enjoy the guitar work in "Run" but there's just not enough going on to justify the price of admission. That said I could most certainly imagine a number of tracks ("Playin' it Over") for interest getting airplay on Radio 2 in the UK (is that damning with faint praise) as much of Age of Reason is safe, middle-of-the-road, easy listening which, given a fair chance would possibly appeal to bored housewives.

Track Listing:

  1. The Sentinel
  2. Run
  3. Playin' it Over
  4. As We Fall
  5. Call
  6. End of the Day
  7. Alive Again
  8. Silver Moon
  9. Frozen
  10. Long Road

Added: November 30th 2011
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 3181
Language: english

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