Raintown Q Magazine June 1987
Wrapped in rumours of Scottish promise, new band Deacon Blue's album bears the sad stamp of too much budget, not enough control right down the middle. The packaging is present, correct and dismally predictable-ornate arrangements, sterile voices and an overall sound as clean and disinterested as a vacuum chamber.
The songwriting suggests potential, but also a premature fixation with technique and useless complexity. The song Spencer Tracy is riddled with stolen imagery and echoes with the clang of dropped names (shaking Einstein's hand). Dignity is a vignette about unemployment/hard times which reeks of manufactured sincerity and a kind of knee-jerk social conscience, hugely at odds with the anodyne mock-orchestral backing track. When Will You is a giant ballad, stuffed with as many voices, keyboards and atmospheric tricks as multitracking will allow. Manilow Magic!
Raintown doesn't present a group, it merely suggests that you admire its production values. It's unfortunate, too, that Deacon Blue's mismatched boy-girl vocal team are reminiscent of Prefab Sprout, whose glib detachment they also share. Deacon Blue already sound like middle-aged session men, which can't possibly have been their intention. Adam Sweeting