Billy Currie — Push
(Puzzle/Arena Music PZLCD108, 2002, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2003-08-01Ex-Ultravox member Billy Currie’s fifth album is another tour de force of synthesizers and stringed instruments that captures a unique romantic niche. Currie has been refining his approach for over thirty years including two collaborative efforts with Steve Howe (that somehow didn’t materialize into a live touring unit). Left to his own devices, Currie is still an imaginative arranger and has come to grips with various synthesizer gear, sampling and echoey violins (e.g. “Stand Like a Balance”). “Step Forward” follows a similar mode as one taken on his Transportation CD from 1988, with lush synth washes and pulsing programmed drums. “Swimming in Air” is a track outside of the norm for the composer as the tempo is stilted as tension builds through the piece. At its worst, the album shows symptoms of still being stuck in the Ultravox dance craze of the early 80s, as on “Kissing the Shame” or “The True Transmission,” whereas stylistic trends have changed substantially. I admit to loving Currie’s violin forays as they are both sinister and well conceived. A piece that borders on minimalist with a techno slant is “Cross Hands,” which also relies on a sampled choir. The album’s closer is perhaps the most memorable melody on the album that degenerates into a dated dance track. Overall Currie has created another album that will appeal to the Visage/Ultravox crowd, but will be ignored as a re-visitation of a genre gone for 20 years.
Related artist(s): Billy Currie
Roswell Rudd RIP – Jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd, one of the distinctive players of his instrument in many strains of music, has died at the age of 82. With a career stretching back to the early 60s and over a hundred recordings featuring his playing, he leaves behind a substantial legacy. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. » Read more
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more