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Don't Follow Me, I'm Lost Too

Pearl Harbour

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Album Review

When Pearl Harbour & the Explosions' tepid skinny-tie pop didn't stoke the public's fancy, their singer's future seemed uncertain: Who could have predicted that she'd pull off such a rowdy, confident solo album? However, that's what happened when she moved to London — note her stage name's British spelling — and fell into the Clash's orbit. Where the Explosions were stilted and restrained, Harbour's voice is loud and freewheeling on the rockabilly driven rumble of "Out With the Girls," "Fujiyama Mama," and "Alone in the Dark." There's not a trace of hesitation in Harbour's hiccups, whoops, and yelps; she sounds comfortable in a way that listeners simply hadn't heard before. Harbour's breezy self-assurance also extends to the campy girl group flippance of "Everybody's Boring but My Baby," reflective pop/rock of "Heaven Is Gonna Be Empty," token country weepers "Losing to You," and a tough, but affectionate cover of Ian Dury's "Rough Kids." Harbour's co-conspirators include a motley assortment from Britain's punk and neo-rockabilly scenes. Former Rich Kids guitarist Steve New plays gutsily throughout; so do late Whirlwind singer/guitarist Nigel Dixon, pianist Otis Watkins, bassist Barry Payne, and drummerNick Simonon (younger brother of Clash bassist Paul Simonon). Their presence provides a dynamism sorely missing from the Explosions' album. Only the mixing prevents this coming-out party from being a perfect affair, leaving New's guitar to fight for breath on "Fujiyama Mama" and "At the Dentist." However, those are minor complaints for such an inspiring effort: there's nothing heavy or depressing about it. However, the public found Harbour's newly rough-hewn image as off-putting as its slicker counterpart, so the album flopped: miss out at your own peril.

Don't Follow Me, I'm Lost Too, Pearl Harbour
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