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Between Two Churches

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Album Review

After over a decade of Internet-only and mail-order albums, singer/songwriter Colin Vearncombe returns as Black, the name he used all those years ago. It was 1987 when tracks like "Wonderful Life" and "Sweetest Smile" entranced folks who would have been huge Steely Dan fans if they were living in the '70s. It was smooth stuff that relied quite a bit on the keyboard, but on Between Two Churches, Black is a guitar-driven project with Vearncombe sounding rather like an early-'70s Neil Diamond, boldly delivering lovelorn strummers like "Same Mistake Twice" and epic soul-searchers like "Two Churches." Way back when there was absolutely no indication Black would ever attempt bluesy rave-ups such as "Cold Chicken Skin" or squeeze out the gutsy "Teenage Wall" as if he was Richard Thompson or Chris Smither. Vearncombe hasn't lost his rich voice or his ability to write meaningful tunes, and he's gained a heck of a lot of warm charm, something that shines on the very dreamy and sorta Everly Brothers "In a Heartbeat." The highlights are numerous and the album is paced perfectly, sinking in as a full experience rather than a haphazard collection of tracks right about the second listen. Mature, smart, and honest, Between Two Churches is a wonderful surprise.


Born: Liverpool, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Formed in Liverpool, England in 1980, the pop group Black was primarily a vehicle for singer/songwriter Colin Vearncombe, who first emerged at the age of 16 in the punk unit the Epileptic Tits. The first incarnation of Black, consisting of Vearncombe and a cast of anonymous session players, debuted with the single "Human Features" on the local Rox label. The record quickly sold out, and soon Vearncombe was approached by the Eternal label, operated by fellow Liverpudlians Pete Wylie and Wah! With...
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Between Two Churches, BLACK
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