Whatever You Say, Say Nothing 
Select March 1993


Always firmly in the "Not sure" category Deacon Blue oscillate between brilliance and embarrassment far too easily. Just when you'd got them down as a drippy ballad act, squeaky clean, dreary, music for your mother, they turn up with something that simply blows you away. This is the band who recorded the ludicrous Chocolate Girl and Fergus Sings The Blues.

With whatever you say Deacon Blue can fully expect the snipers to come shooting. The older fans will find it a "Difficult record". Those new to the band will have a hard time reconciling this chilling record with the Deacon Blue who recorded Dignity and appeared on Timmy Mallets Wide Awake Club. By the sounds of it Deacon Blue are too fucked up to care either way.

In short, this is brilliant 90's AOR. Powerful, unsettling, intellectual and deeply emotional. Witness Fall So Freely Down.

It seems that Ricky Ross (former nice boy, nice haircut), and Lorraine McIntosh (Token Wailing soul) have ditched themselves and come back as real people. Ross has done some hard living and it seems he has peered over the brink into the abyss. The new vision is brooding and dark, despite the aural leavening supplied by Perfecto producers Steve Osborne and Paul Oakenfold. Sometimes it's a bleak European sound, other times it's the Waterboys album that never was. So cold, so introspective, even when its funky as with Cut Lip, you want to ask what the hell has gone on in the intervening years since 1991's Fellow Hoodlums LP.

From the pulsing feedback frenzy of Your Town to the despair of Only Tender Love, this is Ricky Ross growing stubble and kicking out the jams. The track Last night I Dreamed of Henry Thomas , a mournful late night Delta dream complete with Henry Thomas blues record scratching away in the background is a visionary piece of music, leagues ahead of anything they've ever done. The lad is clearly disturbed by life, there's no doubt. Almost altogether , frayed and rasping these are his bad dreams captured on CD and it's utterly compelling. (CJ)