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Chasing Shadows
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  • Less concerned with attaining hits, Chasing Shadows is a return to form and an attempt to just make a good record. It's also the result of an association with Robert Palmer, a fan who executive produced the record. Despite dated production and material that doesn't match the band's first three records, the members refer to it as their fourth record. (So they essentially disown both Land and 7 Day Weekend.) That's because there's focus on the music, not allowing any room for outside concerns. Since the late-'80s production values sounded dated within a few years of release, the songs that hold up best are the ones with the most basic arrangements. "The Cutting Edge," "Carried Away," and "Pray for Rain" offer the best moments, and they're also the most quiet and most simplistic. Andy Peake plays plaintive piano for most of the record, instead of his usual synth stylings and frosty atmospherics. Other songs like the driving opener "The Thing That Counts" and "Under the Influence" are almost heavy, probably their closest to flat-out rock to date. One thing that Chasing Shadows suffers from is an almost cold, clinical feel. Even with the band's most dejected early material, there was a sense of warmth that is missing on approximately half of the record. As a benefit, it does sound much more like the Comsat Angels than 7 Day Weekend. Definitely not amongst the band's best, but a point of curiosity nonetheless. ~ Andy Kellman
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