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Strange Kind of Love

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Album Review

Much of Love & Money's 1988 album, Strange Kind of Love, sounds like music emanating from a pub at three in the morning. James Grant's despondent, husky voice and lovelorn narratives echo the heartache of lonely souls crying in their whiskey glasses. A pointed line in "Jocelyn Square" summarizes his downcast mood: "I loved you so much I hated your guts." However, don't expect gothic angst à la the Cure or the Smiths' jangly sorrow. Rather, these Scotsmen look to America for inspiration: funk, blues, jazz, and country. With the exception of relatively upbeat tracks such as "Halleluiah Man," Strange Kind of Love takes its time to unfold, and repeated spins are needed for Love & Money's bar band grooves to be keenly felt, such as on the slow buildup of "Shape of Things to Come." The sophisticated arrangements and Grant's brooding vocals on "Shape of Things to Come" recall the British group Tears for Fears, but the album is distinctly American in style. While Strange Kind of Love is slicker than many of the roots rock records this LP is reminiscent of, the production doesn't soften the band's rhythm section — guitars weep like wounded animals; basslines thump robustly; and drums are struck with authority, especially on the title track. The album is moody but never boring. Grant's lyrics are often more miserable than the music suggests. In "Strange Kind of Love," he pines for a woman stuck in an abusive relationship and wishes for death in the gripping "Avalanche." "Jocelyn Square" is a bitter "Dear John" letter with a funky, toe-tapping riff that sweetens the bile in Grant's words. When Grant sings, "I hope it rains the day I die" in "Avalanche," one can imagine the tavern lights dimming, the bartender offering a final drink before an evening of barbed confessions is over.

Customer Reviews

Outstanding Album from Arguably the Best Scottish Band of the Late 80s / Early 90s

A simply superb album - Love and Money never enjoyed similar commercial success compared to Texas and Del Amitri, however do yourself a favour and check this one out. James Grant's songwriting is quite superb - especially on Walk The Last Mile. A wonderful band who never received the commercial recognition they truly deserved

Superb! Extremely well produced record! Nice groove!

I remember hearing this while shopping in my favorite record store! After a few tracks, I approached the salesperson who's choice it was and ask what we were listening too. I purchased a copy right then and there. Got it home and could not believe the production quality. It still sounds great - especially when turned up! Tracks 1,5 & 6 make buying the entire disc well worth it. These guys should have been much more popular than they were.

Head and shoulders above other 80s music

One of the best albums to come out of the 1980s--the production is so fine because it's done by Gary Katz, the same producer who produced Steely Dan's classics "Aja" and "Gaucho." Amazing lyrics, singing, guitar playing, and all-around mix/sound. In the vein of SIMPLY RED, MEET DANNY WILSON, AZTEC CAMERA, PREFAB SPROUT, and "Digging Your Scene's" Dr. John. There is not a bad song on the album and there are at least seven GREAT songs: "Hallelujah Man," "Shape of Things to Come," "Strange Kind of Love," "Axis of Love," "Jocelyn Square," "Avalanche," and "Inflammable."


Formed: 1985

Genre: Rock

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

Love and money were two things that eluded the Scottish band Love and Money. After splitting from his backseat role in Friends Again in 1984, James Grant (vocals, guitar) formed Love and Money in 1985 as an outlet for his developing songwriting skills. Love and Money released the single "Candybar Express" in 1986, receiving airplay on U.S. new wave radio stations with its mix of jazz, soul, and funk. However, the group's debut album, All You Need Is..., was virtually ignored. In 1988, Grant ventured...
Full Bio
Strange Kind of Love, Love and Money
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Customer Ratings