Always something there to frustrate me
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 08/15/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Naked Eyes (Pete Byrne on vocals and Rob Fisher on keyboards), were one of the many synth-pop bands to burst on the 80's scene after record companies went New Wave crazy. With the success of Soft Cell, Thompson Twins and The Human League, if you looked good on camera, could carry a tune and had a fairlight, you had a gig. The photogenic Byrne was one of those, and when they secured an American deal with EMI, their clever cover of Bacharach/David's "Always Something There to Remind Me" made them stars.
However, for reasons Byrne explains in his review of Promises, Promises: The Very Best of Naked Eyes, this older, sonically inferior and fewer (15 over 20) songed collection remains in print when the newer one was deleted in a beauraucratic snafu. So instead of 4 hits, you miss out on "When The Lights Go Out." The advantage to this set is the song "Could Be," left of the "Promises Promises" collection.
Naked Eyes managed a string of 4 top 40 singles and two albums to hit the top 100, but their run was short lived. Given that the two albums contained the whole of 21 songs and this CD has 15, you can pretty much sum the group up on one disc. Byrne and Fischer were adequate enough tunesmiths, but they lacked any sort of real identifying qualities (like Soft Cell's over-the-top sleaziness or Tom Bailey's instinctive pop-sense with Thompson Twins). Much of this CD is affable, lightweight fare: synth-pop as Adult Contemporary background music.
However, the three main singles here do strike sparks. "Promises Promises" contains a killer hook, and despite its low chart peak (39 in the US), "What in The Name Of Love" should have been dance floor dynamite. The US single was produced by Arthur Baker (who was a dominant hitmaker at the time) and cribs from both the Thompson Twins and The Supremes. Of the remaining tracks, "Flag of Convenience" and "Burning Bridges" were the best of the lot; most of the others are indistinguishable from a million other 80's pop bands.
Fisher became a hit songwriter in his own right and struck the charts again ("Love Changes Everything") as half of Climie Fisher before his death in 1999, while Byrne carries on with the Naked Eyes name (Fumbling with the Covers)."
Excellent CD to add to Your Collection
Jean E. Kendall | Sheboygan, Wisconsin | 01/27/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, the intro to David Bowie's "Lets Dance" doesn't sound very similar to the intro in "Promises, Promises." Second, both songs were released in 1983, so the chance of "Promises, Promises" copying "Let's Dance" is small. Naked Eyes is the most unique and underrated musical group of the 1980's. This cd starts out with their most popular hit "Always Something There To Remind Me," with it's stong synth. Other notable hits on the album are "Promises, Promises," and "No Flowers Please." This CD keeps it coming all the way through from the beginning to the end. All in all a great cd to add to your collection."
The title said it all.
T. Maloney | East Tinley Park, IL USA | 05/14/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The title states all that you need to know. There are a few really good 80's hits that we remember, but the rest sound pretty much the same."