GOWAN – Return Of The Strange Animal (2010)
Lawrence Gowan is a canadian musician, but few people know that he is a Glasgow, Scotland born.
His second, 1985’s album ‘Strange Animal’ was recorded in England, at the studio where John Lennon made his ‘Imagine’ album.
Produced by british producer David Tickle (Prince, Split Enz, Sting, U2) and featuring a more ‘theatrical’ Gowan, this album was his commercial breakthrough in Canada.
Celebrating the 25th Anniversary, “Return Of The Strange Animal” is a remastered version of the original ’85s ‘Strange Animal’ plus a bonus footage DVD.
Backed by Peter Gabriel’s rhythm section players Tony Levin and Jerry Marotta, all these songs sound fresh still today, with that kind of eighties ‘atmosphere’ which is impossible to recreate again.
The album spawned the hit singles “A Criminal Mind”, “(You’re a) Strange Animal”, “Guerilla Soldier” and “Cosmetics”.
Basically a keyboard player, Gowan wrote this stuff on piano, and all tracks are focused to the massive use of synthesizers, electric piano and (then ‘the’ new toy) fairlight.
Remarkable is the job of Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel) on bass and particularly the ‘stick’, that strange and rare instrument.
“Return Of The Strange Animal” is catchy and pretty straightforward Rock&Pop in its essence, but has uncommon arrangements and creative twists, sounding very different compared to the other music that other 80’s bands were releasing.
Smartly written and flawlessly produced, Gowan seems to effortlessly take the listener on a ride that he or she will want to take again and again.
A must have for any ’80s music fan.
01 – Cosmetics
02 – Desperate
03 – City Of The Angels
04 – Walking On Air
05 – Burning Torches Of Hope
06 – Keep The Tension On
07 – Guerilla Soldier
08 – (You’re A) Strange Animal
09 – A Criminal Mind
Larry Gowan : vocals, piano, Fairlight CMI, synths
Chris Jarret : guitar
David Rhodes : guitar
Tony Levin : bass, stick
Jerry Marotta : drums & percussion
David Tickle : production, programming
IF YOU LIKE IT, BUY IT!