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Music Review

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Pocketful of Stones


Artist: Hue and Cry
Label: Blairhill Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 01 September 2017

The platinum-selling duo Hue and Cry are back with their first album of fully original material since 2012. Pocketful of Stones marks a return to the much beloved adult oriented pop sound...

Have you ever been listening to an album on iTunes when it's overlapped by a video on your Facebook page? Sometimes you don't notice and the music plays, sounding a little odd, but you don't know why... This is an experience not dissimilar to listening to some of the tracks on Hue and Cry's new album Pocketful of Stones.

Some of the songs just sound odd. The problem appears to be a combination of Pat Kane's singing a slightly different tune to the music, along with tracks that go nowhere. There's a lot of promise on some of the songs, but oddly the vocals never quite hit the sweet spot, instead ambling around, teasing the promise of a catchy chorus without ever actually delivering one. There are a few too many tracks like this that are all over the place - as though they are constructed by stitching together bits of other songs. The worst example is 'Surprised by Joy' which appears to have no structure, with the music all over the place.

Over the course of this album's 12 tracks (40 min, 35 sec) 'Deepest Space' is arguably the one standout track. 'Let Her Go' doesn't sound polished enough - it's as though Kane is singing the song for the first time and isn't confident enough with the material. It's weird, because this is a great track, but his daughter, Eleanor, switches between singing about herself in the third and first person... which just sounds odd. They should have stuck to one or the other.

Now, despite all my negative feedback here, I really did enjoy this album. Kane still has a wonderful voice and the tracks, as random as some of them appear to be, are varied and interesting. It's interesting to hear how Hue and Cry have matured musically since the '80s... I just wish that a little more spit and polish had been applied to this release as it could have been an essential purchase.


Nick Smithson

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