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The Chimes

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Album Review

The Chimes' sole album is proof that commercial dance-pop can have artistic viability as well as chart potential. A mixture of hip influences (Soul II Soul's Jazzie B. and Nellee Hooper produced two tracks, including the meaty acid house single "1-2-3"); the polish of soul and pop veterans (Pete Wingfield plays piano on most of the album, and other guests ranging from the Hooters' Eric Bazilian to '70s studio pro Ralph Schuckett lend a hand), The Chimes is a completely solid and credible album with (thankfully) little of the overdone slickness and shrieking that pseudo-soul pretenders like Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston put out. (In fact, it's possible that the low-key dignity of this album is why it wasn't a bigger chart hit, though it received rave reviews both in the U.S. and the trio's native Great Britain.) Pauline Henry's expressive but controlled voice is powerful without resorting to the tiresome trills and oversinging of so many of her R&B contemporaries, and multi-instrumentalist producers James Locke and Michael Peden combine pop, dance and soul influences into a seamless, sleekly danceable blend. The album's biggest hit, a gospel-tinged remake of U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," finds new levels of power in that overplayed song, and its inclusion makes perfect thematic and musical sense instead of being the desperate plea for chart attention it might have been in less capable hands. [There is also a version that includes bonus mixes of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and "Heaven."]

Customer Reviews

early 90s soul+pop sound

Excellent album, very different compared to what it was marketed in the mainstream market at the time of release, soul & pop culture.

Biography

Formed: Scotland

Genre: Pop

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

Scottish R&B trio the Chimes formed in 1988 when multi-instrumentalists and producers Mike Peden and James Locke (formerly of the synth-poppers Fiction Factory) drafted singer Pauline Henry to sing on some dance-pop demos they had recorded. The resulting tracks got the trio signed to CBS Records, who released their first single, "Love So Tender," in 1989. Though the single was a critical hit, thanks largely to Henry's expressive but controlled voice, it was not a particularly strong-seller. The...
Full bio
The Chimes, The Chimes
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  • 5,99 €
  • Genres: Pop, Music, R&B/Soul, Soul
  • Released: 21 May 1990

Customer Ratings

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Contemporaries