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High On the Happy Side

Wet Wet Wet

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Album Review

By the time High on the Happy Side was released, Wet Wet Wet had realized that their true strength lay in making soul-pop ballads. As a result, this album is more a return to their soul roots than an extension of the pop of Holding Back the River. This is not a perfect album by any means. The songwriting is flimsy, even by Wet Wet Wet's standards, and there are a number of tracks here that descend too far into syrupy ballad territory (especially the most successful single from the disc, "Goodnight Girl"). However, there are a number of surprises here. More than on previous outings, the band has let vocal harmonies come to the fore with great effect, although there is still no doubt that Marti Pellow's voice is the main focus. The other notable change here is that the synthesizers that were an integral part of their sound have largely been replaced, even to the point of the inclusion of acoustic songs. Again, this is a successful step forward for the band. There are fewer "rock" tracks here, with the band preferring to stick to the slow-paced pop of "Put the Light On" and "Make It Tonight." While this will undoubtedly make the album palatable to fewer listeners, there is still enough variation to show that, amazingly, a band like Wet Wet Wet can actually make their sound evolve. One of their better and more interesting albums.

Biography

Formed: 1986 in Glasgow, Scotland

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most enormously successful British bands of the 1980s and '90s, Wet Wet Wet will mostly be remembered for the international success of the single "Love Is All Around" from...
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High On the Happy Side, Wet Wet Wet
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