Following shortly on the heels of Of Skins and Heart, "Tear It All Away" still was the picture of a developing band, but one already more comfortable with the studio, able to use subtlety and quiet drama to inform its cool, soothing yet tense take on post-punk filtered through psychedelic touches. The familiar Byrds-derived guitar and Bowie-tinged lyrical regret and sighing crop up as they so often would in the earliest days, but there's a clean, blue tinge to the whole performance, something that feels inexpressively like an eighties recording rather than a sixties throwback. Call it the space in the mix, the gentle keyboards here and there, or the substituting of folk and country roots for something more urban and faster-paced. The lovely mid-song solos show the Marty Willson-Piper/ Peter Koppes team still well within its element, and the whole composition has a rich, lush feeling to it that's most attractive.
from Of Skins and Heart (Arista ARCD-8563), available on CD (EMI)
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