"Rate it 10 stars! I missed this one in 1987, and finding it now is truly a gift. Tom Verlaine has never been stronger vocally, lyrically or instrumentally, with superb backup by Fred Smith, Jimmy Ripp and Allen Schwartzberg. On first playing, the songs synched right into the grooves worn into my brain by repeated listening to TV's Marquee Moon when it first came out, and pushed me right over the edge into euphoria. Listen to any one of the cuts, and see if it doesn't send you there, too. Try "Cry Mercy, Judge," and if that doesn't quite do it for you, move on to "ATown Called Walker," "At 4 A.M.,' or "Annie's Tellin' Me." Dancing on the edge of perfection...guess the friends who worry about me when I tell them Tom's lyrics make perfect sense to me can start worrying again! Don't miss this album--one hearing and you'll be "falling in love again...can't help it.""
A Lost Masterpiece!
Christopher Hunter | Farnham UK | 02/03/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love this record. I like Television but I really think Tom Verlaine's solo output is scandalously under-rated. When this was released in the mid-80's the music scene was a tad dull with little for anyone who needed challenging to get their ears round.'Flashlight' has it all. Tracks such as 'A Town called Walker' and 'Cry Mercy, Judge' are true rockers with the wit and paranoia you expect from Verlaine. 'The Scientist writes a letter' is a different fish altogether; a study of the end of an affair wrapped into an innocuous sounding letter with a strange atmosphere. Excellent. The second side (as was) starts with the core track 'Bomb' where the usual pop/rock notion of 'we can work it out, baby' gets inverted into a black hole of hopelessness, as the writer realises there really is no way back into the relationship. A warped and acid display. The other tracks are also very good. I'm not going to analyse them all here but if you like food for thought with your rock tinged with psychedelia and guitar work as taut as cheese wire, then buy this CD!"
Best album of the '80s
J. McHenry | Detroit, MI | 05/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It was a shock for me when this album disappeared, unheralded. The writing is great, with an informal jokiness you never found in that decade. The guitar is simply fantastic - original, with great whammy-bar shimmers and beautiful solos. And the lyrics are deep and touching. The snare drum is typical '80s (sounds like small arms fire) but overall this album had soul in a very chilly era, sonically speaking. This is also a perfect example of an album that has great variety without sounding like a mish mash. A countrified tune, a U2-ish song, a dance-y track, man this one has it all. If you like intelligent writing you'll love this album, and for once the musicianship is there too! Run - don't walk! - to get this disc."
Some Beautiful Songs
Stephen M. Glaister | Auckland, New Zealand | 07/02/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Song" is the real masterpiece here... a tender love song that is utterly devoid of cliche on every level (some of the template for _The Bends_-era Radiohead comes from here I think). Genius. "The scientist writes a letter" is almost as good... a gorgeously cinematic song. The rest of the record isn't quite up to those two songs' exalted standards but almost all of it (skip "Cry mercy, judge") is still pretty darned good. Tom Verlaine's voice remains a fragile instrument (and it sounds horrible in the streaming audio clips that amazon provides!) and an acquired taste... but it's well recorded on _Flashlight_ and the overall warmth of the record makes _Flashlight_ a good entry point into solo Verlaine."