April 29, 2020

Real Life - Flame (1985)

Country: Australia
Genre: Pop, Pop Rock
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© 1985 Curb Records
AllMusic Review by Tomas Mureika
Real Life had the daunting task of following up Heartland on two fronts -- not only was Heartland a great new wave record, but they ran the added risk of "Send Me an Angel" turning them, unfairly, into one-hit wonders. And, to their credit, Flame virtually pulls off the near-impossible act of replicating Heartland's credibility as a solid new wave classic. David Sterry and Richard Zatorski again have assembled a collection of solid synth pop singles-that-could-have-been. "No Shame" kicks off with a dynamite descending synth hook that immediately pulls the listener into the record. It is a single as worthy as if not better than, "Send Me an Angel," but, alas, commercial success again eluded the band. The hooky verses and singalong chorus were designed for radio play, but it was not meant to be. The rest of the collection continues on the same territory as Heartland -- "One Blind Love," "Flame," and "The Legend" are all great songs -- but the piece de resistance on this album is the closer, "Cathedral." All mood and dark lyrics, the album ends with Sterry's haunting refrain of "Light a candle for me, light a candle for me...I'm a cathedral." It's everything the Cure has hoped to achieve in a single and set the tone for Real Life's more gothic incarnation come the turn of the century. And, as another "shoulda been a classic single," it's unstoppable. The commercial failure of this record is another crying shame.

tags: real life, flame, 1985, flac,

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