When The World Knows Your Name
Making Music April 1989
First surprise is that vocalist Ricky Ross writes most of the songs. Second surprise is that. Deacon Blue are amazingly consistent. They've come up with an album of well compiled songs and managed to avoid the trap that many pop bands fall into, that of padding out three or four obvious singles with inferior material. Of course the four hit cycle is present here, that’s showbiz after all. In addition to ‘Wages Day’ and Real Gone Kid’, I’d be willing to bet that ‘This Changing Light’ and Queen Of The New Year’ will be released on 45 before long. Both contain the trademark vocal hooting, and the former has the additional benefit of some great whammy bar riffing.
What makes Deacon Blue a better bet than most is quality of the none Top ‘40 fodder. Their biggest attraction for me besides the vocal combination of Ricky Ross and Lorraine McIntosh has always been the arrangements which are full of subtle little hooks and odd touches which are mainly down to keyboard player James Prime. He contributes a quality to the songs which suggest something other than mere pop music. ‘Queen Of The New Year’ for example has a distinct country feel and ‘Wages Day’ contains that wonderful boogie woogie piano. Inevitably there are some turkeys present 'Your Constant Heart’ is a messy battle of styles and Orphans’ goes precisely nowhere. But on a 13-track record you won’t be left feeling like you’ve wasted seven quid. Andrea Thorn