After The Gold Rush
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 09/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Boy, was I glad I hung on to my original CD from 1985. Along with "The Golden Age Of Wireless," these two Thomas Dolby titles were among the very first CD's I ever purchased. At the time of the first listen to the vinyl album of "The Flat Earth," I was a tad disappointed that Dolby's professed love of Joni Mitchell (whom he soon would produce - see "Dog Eat Dog") had led to an album loaded with extremely moody and low key songs. There were a lot more traditional instruments involved with the making of "The Flat Earth," which wasn't really what I was expecting. With the exception of "Hyperactive," which sounded like a "Wireless" leftover, "The Flat Earth" barely sounded like the quirky kid we'd fallen in love with on the first album.
Still, the album had a certain jazzy depth that I kept coming back to. Maybe I didn't love it on the first listen. Or the second, or for that matter, the third. But by the end of the first week, I was hooked. I think side one of the original album became glued to my turntable for the remainder of the summer of 1984, as the intrigue of "Dissidents," the sensitivity of the title track and the lonely alienation of "Screen Kiss" kept me enthralled. I was fortunate to win a CD player in a radio contest a year later and found this disc in the racks....and it's not left my library since.
I have since become enamored of Dolby's interpretation of Dan Hick's "I Scare Myself" to the point that I prefer it over the original. I also still can find myself bouncing along to "The White City," which took some flack at the time for what many perceived as a drug reference. What actually stopped me from a full-on five star recommendation on the original CD was the reason I originally purchased the LP..."Hyperactive" actually sounds so out of place here that it robs "The Flat Earth" of that elusive fifth star for me. But don't let that stop you. If you're a fan of "Avalon" by Roxy Music or "Hats" by the Blue Nile, you'll probably be glad "The Flat Earth" is back and remastered.
As to that remaster job, it's fantastic. For a change, "remaster" doesn't mean "made louder," it means the CD was cleaned up, given better definition, given more detail. The scratchy trumpet on "I Scare Myself" is even more haunting. The bass on "Hyperactive!" snaps even more than before, as does "The White City." Dolby contributes new liner notes and info about the original songs and the eight extras. The bonus tracks include the original re-mix for "Dissidents" and 7 more songs...and for a change, most of them are worth hearing! There's one song that had never even been recorded, the live "Marseille." Add a couple of hard to find soundtrack items from "Howard the Duck" and "Gothic," and this version of "The Flat Earth" maintains its reputation as Dolby's moody masterpiece."
E. E. Seiler III | Indialantic, FL United States | 09/05/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Thomas Dolby is a genius who writes songs that can be fun,intelligent and emotional all at the same time. This album creates soundscapes that pull you into his world and let you grow..and then some fun. The remastered version sounds better and the extras are worth it even for casual fans of the great TD. Buy It"