Thursday, February 2, 2012

Review: The Outfield “Replay”

Pop rock
The latest record from 80s giants, The Outfield, arrived last year and it has taken me a long time to finally write a review. I have been playing this one on and off for months now, trying hard to find something that I like about it. I’ve been a huge fan of the band since day 1, so I am surprised that I find “Replay” so disappointing.

There was a lot of promise for this record, starting with the return of original drummer Alan Jackman joining John Spinks (guitar, keyboard) and Tony Lewis (bass, vocals). Jackman hasn’t played with the band since he left in 1990 and reportedly energized the group upon his return. Additionally, the advance single “California Sun” was a decent song with a nostalgic feel. Unfortunately, the rest of the record is an exercise in frustration – even after months of trying to get into it, the melodies just don’t stick.

There is no question the guys remain in top form – excellent musicianship, solid vocals, and warm production certainly brings back shades of the 80s. But this is all wasted on surprisingly mediocre songs devoid of hooks or interesting riffs. Outside of “California Sun”, the highlights include “Aladdin’s Cave” (which feels like a sequel to the hit “Voices of Babylon”) and “Wonderland”. I hate to say it, but “Replay” will probably compete with “Diamond Days” for being the least played record in my Outfield collection.

The Outfield – Official site.

In case you missed my interview with the boys in the Outfield, you can check it out - here.


Anonymous said...

Really? A Long Long Time Ago and Shake Your Thing are great tracks, amongst others. The album sold out at CDBaby, and is still ranked 12th in Pop and 18th in Rock.

It may not be your thing, but I've thoroughly enjoyed this album. Many others have as well.

-Doug in Detroit

Jens Reuter said...

I must completely agree to what you said - there are no more and no less than three songs on this album that sound quite well - for me it is California sun, Aladdin´s Cave and Who would you be. The rest is somewhat boring, or simply said not "outfield-ish" as we know them from the past. This is by far the worst cd they´ve ever made, I hope they won´t make an even worse one.