Listening to Smyth is never enough
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 07/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It seems unjust that Rob Hyman and Eric Bazilian of the Hooters musically made their best mark with only their first album. The artists they wrote for and produced albums for seemed to do better. One artist they propped up was Patty Smyth, best known as the voice of Scandal--("The Warrior", "Beat Of A Heart"), and although it didn't do well, I consider Never Enough to be one of the best albums of the 1980's.For the most part, Never Enough expands on Scandal's sound to a wall of rock guitar with the usual 80's-accompanied keyboards. Smyth's edgey, robust voice is easily demonstrated on the rocking title track. A girl meets the man of her dreams, and that promise in the dark they made together ends up being lost in the storm forever, to paraphrase. She learns the cost of freedom, which becomes a secret the man shared to something we all can share. Easily the best track here.Her cover of Tom Waits' "Downtown Train" betters Rod Stewart's 1991 version. It matches her persona, pretty but not in an artificial model-glamorous sort of way, street-smart, wearing a leather jacket and mini, tough but loyal. When she mentions the line about Brooklyn girls being thorns without the rose, and she says, "Oh if I was the one/you chose to be your only one" it reminds me of tomboy Mary Stuart Masterson telling Eric Stoltz about Lea Thompson in Some Kind Of Wonderful. David Sanborn has a nice and all-too brief sax solo."Call To Heaven" is a sobering rock ballad of a soldier at war who captured by enemies and executed by firing squad, exploring the minds of both sides. The guitars and Patty's vocals go up a notch from this verse on: "Gather 'round reluctant marksmen/One of them to take his life/With a smile he gives them pardon/Leaves the dark and takes the light." The chorus goes "What a night though it's one of seven/What a night for the dancing dead/What a night to be called to heaven/What a picture to fill your head." The second best track.Ace songwriters Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly contribute the heartbreaking but winning "The River Cried." Why? "The river cried for my lonely soul/You were the only one who really knew me/And hearing this, the river cried." Another poignant line: "Waiting for you to return my sigh.""Isn't It Enough" is a note of advise that "I fit you like a worn-out glove" so be content of the title concept. "I'll satisfy your fire but I'm not made of stone" gives her a tough but vulnerable quality.The quick-paced "Sue Lee" co-penned by Rick Chertoff, could've been covered by Journey. The title girl seems to be a refugee living in poverty. However, the lines "She smiles when she looks at the world around/With her high-top sneakers and her hard-rock sound" might fit Smyth as well."Tough Love" is a hard-driving number on fighting the competitive battlezone of those mean streets. "Heartache Heard Round The World" is co-written by Hyman, Bazilian, Chertoff, and Smyth, and the effort shows. When she sings "I'm no angel, but I'm not so tough" reinforces that vulnerable side of her that makes her more human. The title is the sound that knocks her down, and her wish is more than fulfilled when she says "I wanna be a rock and roll girl."Smyth gets quality help here. Not only do Hyman and Bazilian do backing vocals but so do Rory Dodd of Meat Loaf fame and Rick Chertoff, the producer of Cyndi Lauper's She's So Unusual. Never Enough is one of those one-of-a-kind albums whose true appreciation was, well, never enough."
One outstanding track in an overall good album
Irene Robinson | Queens, NY USA | 03/26/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The outstanding track is "Call to Heaven" which never got any radio play time because it's more than 5 minutes long, but they are an enthralling 5 minutes. It is one of my top 20 songs of all time (and I've heard a lot of songs).
Patty smyth-one of the great rock voices
Vincent Alvino | Emporia, KS USA | 01/02/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"i had this on cassette when it was first released and spent alot of time trying to find the cd. i always liked this album, and i don't thik it ever really got the promotion it should have. there are some great songs here and of course that voice of patty's-pure heaven. it is s slightly different style than that of scandal album and maybe that it why it never caught on the way it should have. i recommend this to anyone a fan of patty's singing and to those who love rock music."