GRAHAM PARKER - Another Grey Area

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Going for $20...this 2007 reissue had one bonus track.

The first post-Rumour effort, and significantly the only album in the 1980s without Brinsley Schwarz on lead guitar. This album was recorded with slick American studio musicians which takes away some of its soul. Brinsley Schwarz' guitar work on many GP efforts is nothing short of phenomenal: great solos, great vamps, but overall a wonderful interplay with the vocals that gives the songs texture. The danger of recording an album with a studio guitarist is that if he should lay down a hot lead that has his signature style, anyone else who plays that song onstage will fall short. Perhaps with this in mind, there are no real guitar solos on this album. "Another Grey Area" itself would benefit from a real ripping lead; "Big Fat Zero" kind of stops abruptly; "Hit The Spot" screams for Brinsley. From a pure songwriting standpoint, there is a wealth of great material here, but developed in the confines of an over-priced studio with overpriced musicians and an overly slick producer, some of the typical GP charm is absent. Its predecessor, The Up Escalator, had more than its share of finesse. For all the wit behind Another Grey Area the delivery sounds just a bit too sterile for our beloved pub rocker. Then again, worlds better than anything else from that era.