INFECTED - The second album by Matt Johnson's The The following "Soul Mining" opens with this brilliant track. Kicking off almost with a gospel intro before hitting an infectious Synth Pop style beat, add some snarling Billy Idol-like vocals and it's already reaching "hit" status. An infectious (no pun intended) chorus emerges into a Synth Rock/New Wave hybrid. Just a class track. Criminally ignored only reaching 48 on the UK chart.
OUT OF THE BLUE (INTO THE FIRE) - An engaging Punk Pop ballad, the musical intro reminds me of The Pretenders but quickly kicks into a track Iggy Pop would be proud of. Another gem merging New Wave with classic Punk elements.
HEARTLAND - This single release reached number 29 on the UK chart. It is a beautifully composed track with an orchestral style backing. Add an awesome piano solo, some Soul driven vocals from Matt and a lovely harmonised chorus it makes for a great listen.
ANGELS OF DECEPTION - A genre bursting track as it includes a lot of experimental changes. It begins with a Synth Pop intro and soft vocals from Matt before he lets rip with some funky Michael Hutchence type vocals. This is where the Funk Rock emerges with drum and guitars in harmony. After another slow down it tries its hand at some Classic Rock before slowing down to an orchestral, atmospheric finish. Simply superb.
SWEET BIRD OF TRUTH - Anna Domino lends her vocals to this track. This is almost a mixture of Funk Rock, Punk, a little Reggae and a little Ska. Eerie vocals at times, and angry at others, again it must be an infuential nod to Iggy Pop!
SLOW TRAIN TO DAWN - Neneh Cherry guest vocalises on this funky Pop track. Another engaging chorus, for me lacks a little punch of other notable tracks on this album. It seems to be a staple of the many songs around at this time. Still it is a decent track.
TWILIGHT OF A CHAMPION - A quirky Pop Punk track, a mysterious musical backing that could sound like it is out of a detective or spy movie. Experimental.
THE MERCY BEAT - One of my favourites, a great epic track to end the album. Coming in at just over 7 minutes this has everything that has previously been mentioned in this review! There is Funk, Pop, Synth Pop, Rock and Punk with a hint of Asian influence for good measure. Top finish to the album.