Tom Bailey, Science Fiction - album review
Tom Bailey tasted pop success with Thompson Twins.
A career that peaked with a set at Live Aid backed by Nile Rodgers and Madonna shows just how revered they were by their contemporaries.
Tom has been dabbling in this and that a lot since they released their last record nearly three decades ago. But recently touring that band’s hits made him fall back in love with pop. And here we are.
Full of thumping beats and zipped pop hooks, it’s like an electronic look inside the blood vessels to capture the speed of activity locked inside.
The opening title track encompasses all of this perfectly. Upbeat and full of happy melodies it delights in its innocence and simplicity. Not to say the songs are one-dimensional. It just proves that layer upon layer of wizardry isn’t always necessary. Just let the undercurrent beat, vocals and lyrics lead.
What Kind Of World follows a different tack where there is an element of impending danger in the rising deep levels of the choruses and interludes. While still clinging on to that carefree attitude of the opener it dabbles with the more questionable members of society in its journey from start to finish.
We encroach on some full on 80s Phil Collins territories at times. Those unashamedly pop processions which have divided fans over whether he is cool or not for decades. Blue is one such track in its opening. The funk-infused verses drag a little, but the soft rock approach to everything else just needs Phil’s angry drumming and screeched vocals injected.
If You Need Someone carries this on, while poking some Latin dancefloor vibes in to really make things more offbeat.
There’s no song which is particularly filler. Yet at the same time it never really quite takes off, leaving us feeling a little slap bang in the middle of the road – take note of Ship Of Fools. The interesting bits don’t quite last. Some songs wander without stopping dead still.
It’s an interesting idea without being particularly mesmerising. Maybe this will hit better on a live stage, but recorded it can feel more like a stroll than an adventure.
Tom Bailey is joining Belinda Carlisle as support for Culture Club on their UK tour later this year which stops off at Birmingham Arena on November 16