October 21, 2020

1986-03-09 – Daily Press

1986 03 09 Daily_Press_Sun__Mar_9__1986_

Record bin

3y JORY FARR

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been/When I grew up I went to
school/They tried to make me a
bloody fool/ Hey, I been in my
life without much happening,"
Ms. Amphlett sings. And there’s
no doubt that the lady means ev-
ery word she says.

It’s All in the Game
Nona — Epic

Nena Kemer, the lead singer
for Germany’s pop sensation,
sings catchy songs that verge on
bubble-gum music.

She and her band struck a
nerve a couple of years back
with “99 Luftballoons,” a nucle-
ar-protest ditty that became a
hit and was repackaged with En-
glish lyrics. With Nena’s Teu-
tonic good looks to boot, the
band had promise.

But “99 Luftballons” had
plenty of weak cuts, and its suc-
cessor, “It’s All in the Game,”

+—-"'"

has more dross than gold. In
fact, the album’s chock full of
second-rate tunes that are a tri-
umph of gloss over substance.

“Young as You" is a typical
track. It's got purling synths
and a catchy hook and just about
every other aspect that would
make it commercial. Content-
wise, it's a zero.

Ditto for the title track, which
means to be heavy but is ultima-
tely, deadeningly psuedo-pro-
found. And I’ve saved the
lamest for last.

“Are you Awake?” features
these unforgettable lines: “In
our apartment all the
roomS/Have taken on your per-
sonality/The living room has
overshadowed me/ I feel as re-
stless as these bedroom sheets.”

This tune would be better
dubbed “Are You Asleep?” And
so would the album. My advice:
Buy the single, “Utopia,” and
dance to David Sanbornfs wail-
ing sax solo, the only genuinely

interesting thing on this album.

Everyone knows Roger Dal-
trey can sing. His leather-lunged
vocals were nothing less than
galvanic when he performed
and recorded with the Who.

But all the braying in the
world does not make for great
music, and that’s the problem
with this effort. Despite a help-
ing hand from an impressive sta-
ble of writers, including Pete
Townshend, “Under a Raging
Moon" is flat and lifeless.

“Don‘t Talk to Strangers” is
heavy on the angst — in this
case the sad specter of glory
days gone by — but just so
much disposable rock.

“Breaking Down Paradise" is
an exercise in cynicism Sample
lyrics: “You walk away and turn
the day into night."

In fact, without Townshend’s
great writing abilities, Daltrey
seems adrift in a sea of cliches.
Worse yet, Alan Shacklock’s
production is overblown. The
best tune is the title track,
which could’ve gone on any Who
album. But who wants to pay $8
for a single?