CLASSIC ALBUM REVIEW - THE ICICLE WORKS - "THE ICICLE WORKS"

THESE ALBUM REVIEWS ARE FAVOURITES FROM MY OWN VAST AND VARIED ECLECTIC COLLECTION! I AM A FAN OF THESE ARTISTS SO MY OPINIONS MAY NOT BE ON A PAR WITH YOUR OWN BUT PLEASE ENJOY AND MAYBE THERE ARE SOME ALBUMS YOU MAY LIKE TO SAMPLE FOR YOURSELF OUT OF CURIOSITY :)

THE ICICLE WORKS


"THE ICICLE WORKS"


I remember hearing "Love Is A Wonderful Colour" by The Icicle Works in 1983 on the radio.  I had never heard anything like it before.  The lyrics were eloquent, they were sung in an unusual style and the music was big, orchestral like in its composition.  I recorded it off the radio (the in thing at the time!) and the cassette was on rewind and play on this song for weeks until I could sing along perfectly.  Always on the lookout for new bands to follow, this band were on my list.  Subsequent albums after this debut were also readily acquired!

This debut album only reached number 24 in the UK chart and only spawned two singles.  Sometimes I wonder if the UK just wasn't ready for Ian McNabb's smart and sophisticated songwriting.  The first single, "Birds Fly (Whisper To A Scream)" only scraped to 90 in the chart before peaking at 53 on its re-release in 1984.  The lovely guitar melodies and the chug-a-chug drums almost like Bow Wow Wow but this song had a fabulous ambience about it.  There seemed to be a lot going on but the effect was mesmerising.  Ian's vocals were perfectly delivered on solo moments and harmonious vocals backed him.  Such a great song with a catchy chorus, its a crime it didn't become a big hit. However, as I said it did improve its chart placing after the success of the second singe, the aforementioned "Love Is A Wonderful Colour" which was just a masterpiece.  It reached number 15 on the chart here.  From the start it had that anthemic, almost gothic, medieval sound.  The lyrics just sounded so intelligent and as a lyricist I just thought it was brilliantly wrote.  The song was so powerful with an emotive background that just sounded so uplifting.  One of my all time favourite songs.


"Chop The Tree" opened the album with a fast tempo drumbeat with lots going on in the background.  Guitar chops, electronic whirrs and atmospheric leanings which actually give you the feeling of being in a forest.  A very emotive song again hidden in the uptempo music, clever composition.

"Reaping The Richest Harvest" is a kind of Gothic Rock love song.  This is almost like what The Mission would be doing in another five years time.  A beautiful emotional chorus that gives a good feeling inside.

"As The Dragonfly Flies" has a funky beginning and then goes into Progressive Rock mode, with a Tears For Fears like chorus.  Searing guitars and stomping drums throughout.  Great song.

"Lover's Day" is a soft, gently sung Rock ballad.  It bangs into a massive Gothic Rock chorus and then comes back down.  Nice vocal harmonies help the ambience and it has a segment of sounds like a Rain Forest before bursting into the huge repeated chorus and ending.  

"In The Cauldron Of Love" is similar in style to "Birds Fly (Whisper To A Scream)",soft lyrics sung in storylike fashion before hitting an echo style big chorus.  Touch of class.

"Out Of Season" reminds me of later Tears For Fears once again.  A big ballad with tons of emotion but sounding quite orchestral and also has moments where the backing is minimal.  

"A Factory In The Desert" is a great Rock track, lots of elements of Classic Rock and Progressive Rock of the 60s and 70s.  

"Nirvana" ends the album and it is like a recap of what's included in the previous tracks.  It has everything The Icicle Works is about, searing guitars, vocal harmonies, slow teasing verses, big chorus, Gothic Rock, Classic Rock, Progressive Rock.  Superb ending to a fine album.


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