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Man On the Line

Chris de Burgh

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Album Review

The pop/rock power pent up in "High on Emotion" established the fact that Chris de Burgh could be just as energetic as he could be romantic. Its explosive chorus followed by some dynamic electric guitar riffs highlighted 1984's Man on the Line, making a rocker out of the usually complacent balladeer. Following suit, only with a little less vigor, is the title track that sparks a little bit of dramatic anger in de Burgh's voice. He hasn't left his mellifluous candor behind completely, though, but his slower pieces do seem to be a tad more hearty. "Sound of a Gun" deals with a civilian's outlook of living in a war-torn country, which has de Burgh singing in whispers at one point. His trademarked romantic style is brought back to life on "Head and the Heart," a gorgeous love song presented in true de Burgh fashion. The majority of the songs on Man on the Line are made up of catchy pop tunes, rounded out by his debonair vocal approach. Each track brandishes an early-'80s keyboard feel, resilient and bright, and quite fitting for the album's period. Its appeal still remains, and even though it isn't one of his best efforts, it does provide evidence that de Burgh could escape his stereotypical trademark as a one-dimensional artist.

Biography

Born: 15 October 1948 in Argentina

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

An art rocker who occasionally writes pop-oriented material, Chris de Burgh has never been as popular in his native Britain or the United States as he was in other areas of the world. In America, he's only managed two Top 40 hits — 1983's "Don't Pay the Ferryman" (number 34) and the number three ballad "The Lady in Red" (1986). In Britain, he's had the same number of Top 40 singles — "The Lady in Red" was a number one hit and "Missing You" peaked at number...
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Man On the Line, Chris de Burgh
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