Strange Kind of Love Reviews
Q--November, 1988 (Q26) (Fontana)
Love And Money, Strange Kind of Love
When Love And Money first struck out, the Scottish blue-eyed popfunk bag was already full with Aztec Camera, Hipsway and Wet Wet Wet. Legendary Atlantic Records producer Tom O'Dowd couldn't take up the slack on
essentially brittle songs like the "Candybar Express" single, all written by vocalist and ace guitarist James Grant. The usual year's silence has since paired them with another American, Gary Katz, best known for his superlative work with Steely Dan. This time they've leapfrogged over the competition by simply bypassing the hit-the-charts route that all too often strains a band's virgin abilities, settling instead for deeper grooves and a more substantial stab at songwriting that Katz wouldn't be insulted to arrange. You wonder though whether Grant had these songs before meeting Katz, or was swayed by the producer's expertise in such matters as classy Steely Dan guitar and keyboard sounds, and more than the occasional tune. Songs like "Shape Of Things To Come" and "Jocelyn
Square" get elevated by the same masterly clipped and relaxed cushion of air that graced Steely Dan's Aja and Gaucho recordings, while guitar spotters should listen to "Axis Of Love"'s guitar next to Donald Fagen's "New Frontier". But it still falls short of plagiarism and there is no disputing Grant's freshly served sophistication and the group's well-sprung undercarriage.
Q Rating: *** (out of 5). Reviewed By: Martin Aston (Q26, Nov 88)
"If you like sophisticated guitars and brooding lyrics with an American sheed, them you will love this. Worth the smart money."
--Max Bell, Tracks
"Love and Money are going to be on everyone's CD player in six months, okay?"
--Laura Lee Davies, Time Out
"Panache and a great deal of promise."
"This is produced by Gary Katz of Steely Dan-fame and bears his stamp--clipped fun inflections and a stylish but impassioned vocal"
"The production work of Gary Katz has revealed a new power and sensitivity in James Grant's vocals and lyrics."
--Scotland on Sunday
"They should be adorned with both love and money."
--Andy Strickland, Record Mirror
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