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Acoustically Yours

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Album Review

Since Liverpool, England's China Crisis are already a quiet band to begin with, having them record an unplugged live album could've been a bad idea. After all, what's the appeal in hearing a stripped-down performance from a group that's always been mellow? Surprisingly, China Crisis answer that question with one of the most absorbing and lovingly constructed albums of their career. By removing the dated synthesizers, China Crisis' songs sound timeless; morever, the emotion in Gary Daly's voice isn't suppressed by keyboards. The track selection is superb; nearly all of China Crisis' best songs, including "Wishful Thinking," "African and White," and "Black Man Ray," are reworked for this set. The band doesn't shed the tracks of their initial strengths. For example, the drums on "African and White" are almost as forceful as those on the original. "Wishful Thinking," a song about a man who discovers that he's the father of an ex-lover's child, becomes even more heartbreaking as violins weave in and out of the mix. The guitar work in "Christian" and "Black Man Ray" is stunningly beautiful. Acoustically Yours exudes the warmth of a summer day; its laid-back grooves and sunny disposition are fitting for drives in the coutryside.

Biography

Formed: 1979 in Kirkby, Merseyside, England

Genre: Pop

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

A bit fiery for most in the new romantic camp during the early '80s, China Crisis was inspired by similar sources but injected their pop songs with occasional political commentary and bluesy, reggae rhythms. Mostly a duo of vocalist/keyboard player Gary Daly and guitarist Eddie Lundon, the group formed in 1979 near Liverpool. The first China Crisis single, "African and White," didn't appear until 1982, but it was quickly picked up by Virgin and made the British charts. Realizing they needed a proper...
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Acoustically Yours, China Crisis
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