Not quite Steely Dan
edg16 | Arlington, VA USA | 03/08/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"To describe the sound of Deacon Blue, imagine a more down-to-earth Prefab Sprout crossed with Mike Stern's jazz-rock fusion. (They don't borrow much from Steely Dan besides their name). Unlike Prefab, there's no chance of dozing off to Deacon Blue. The sound is lean and raw, with guitars and vocals front and center. Strong as the material is, the performances help even more. Most tunes grab you by the throat and never let go. Ricky Ross sings every song as if it was his last. Co-vocalist Lorraine Macintosh is used mainly for counterpoint, but her soulful interjections prod him to new heights on "Real Gone Kid." I'd be surprised if much of this wasn't recorded live in the studio. Listen as the band pulls out the all stops at the end of "Queen Of The New Year" and "Wages Day." The ballad "Sad Loved Girl" is a nice change of pace, and the formless "Orphans" is an interesting experiment. Aside from the irritating "Your Constant Heart," this is well worth having."