Angel Air 2015
Back in action, British pop-rockers bare the many bright facets of their vibrant oeuvre.
“Out of the strong, something sweet”: this Biblical riddle perfectly illustrates Andy Davis and James Warren’ transition from melodious quirks of STACKRIDGE to the mellifluous pop of THE KORGIS. An album a year between 1979 and 1981, plus a reunion one in 1992, saw the band create deceptively simple songs that strike a chord with the listener even today, when many of more successful tracks from the same period feel outdated. That’s why, perhaps, the duo are still active in both of their groups thus providing a curious crossover on cuts such as the swirling “Rover’s Return,” which closes this 18-piece summary of the K-factor with a bark, or the country boogie in “Mount Everest Sings The Blues,” while their psychedelic single “Something About The Beatles” – the Fabs’ harmonic imprint is felt all over “I Just Can’t Help It” from “The Korgis” LP – eventually landed on their parent ensemble’s last studio record, yet the collective’s non-rock agenda has always been topped with ballads.
“Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime” might have been THE KORGIS’ only hit, yet “All The Love In The World” – in acoustic version here, just like “Young ‘n’ Russian,” a hard-hitting artifact from the Iron Curtain era – is every bit as tremulous and uplifting, whereas the world music rhythmic patterns add to the tight transparency of “This World’s For Everyone.” And if the Rachmaninoff strain in a slide-kissed “If I Had You” betrays the band’s sophistication, the reggae flow of “Lines” reveals their humorous side, although the synthetic layer under the Latinesque buzz in “One Life” somewhat jars until it comes to an organ solo. Still, that’s only a slight trade-off for this unique link between 10CC and THE BUGGLES so, with a few obscure tracks on display, the disc is as interesting a collection as it gets.