CLASSIC ALBUM REVIEW - NIK KERSHAW - "THE RIDDLE"

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 :)

NIK KERSHAW


"THE RIDDLE"


Nik Kershaw was years ahead of his time, a brilliant songwriter and had an ability to write stories within his songs with great hooks and memorable melodies and choruses.  His debuit album, "Human Racing" was like nothing I had heard before.  Was it Electropop, Synth Pop or just superb creative music.  Nik among others inspired me to write songs and poems during my teen years.  When I heard the "Human Racing" demos were written, composed and recorded at his home on a Portastudio I soon began writing my own music but not recording until many years later.  I loved that all Nik's music seems to have lots going on in the background that you don't hear on first listen.  They sound simple compositions but everything behind it makes the song that way.  A multi-instrumentalist, producer and engineer he is a very talented man indeed.  So much underrated and lost in all the "pretty boy" artists of the 80s, and in some cases, miles ahead of them in creativity and talent.

This album was Nik's second release and was a much more polished and mature sound.  It reached number 8 on the UK chart.  3 singles were plucked from this set, the first, the title track, reached number 3 in the UK chart.  In a medium paced tune a little like "I Won't Let The Sun Go Down" on me with its Electronica sound and catchy chorus with military style marching band towards the end.  The lyrics caused much puzzlement and had everybody wondering what the "riddle" was, trying desperately to figure it all out to no avail.  Nik let this go on for a while before saying they were just a "guide vocal" and a bit of nonsense, random lyric.  A very memorable song right from the intro.  The second single, "Wide Boy" was more a Pop Rock song with a mix of guitars and synths, very New Wave sounding.  Reaching number 9 it was Nik's 6th successive top 20 single in the UK.  An almost funky track and one of my favourites.  The final single from the album also was the last of his consecutive top 20 hits, "Don Quixote" reached number 10.  Like a Pop/Funk/Disco crossover, the song again had a very catchy chorus and brass-like accompaniment.  This is for me the finest of Nik's albums.


"Know How" is a Synth based track, similar to those on "Human Racing", ik has this ability to sing a slow lyric with a faster backbeat.  Lots of electric sounds on this, very experimental but a great song.

"You Might" is a Pop Rock song, great Rock guitar riffs with a driving beat and synths throughout and of course the obligatory catchy sing along chorus!

"Wild Horses" is a really nice song, slow Synth Pop ballad type.  A beautiful melody and chorus make this a superb song.  Proving that Nik could cut a ballad as well as the catchy Pop he is known for.  

"Easy" sounds a bit like Level 42, which is not unusual as it has the brilliant "slap bass" master Mark King helping out .  A Funk Pop foot tapper and again if you listen to this in headhones, try to pick out all the things going on if you can!

"City Of Angels" is a lovely, atmospheric typical 80s Pop Rock track with great chorus, electronic effects and harmonised vocals.

"Roses" has a backing sound similar to Madness, various vocals, echoed and computerised harmonies, guitars, synths and funky drumbeat.  Kind of sums up the whole album in one track! Love it.

"Save The Whale" is a sombre end to the album.  Really lovely song, with whales "singing" and visions of the deep blue sea.  A great message behind the song and quite hard hitting if you listen to the lyrics.  Simply brilliant song.



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