June 08, 2022

King - Bitter Sweet (2007 Remastered Edition)

*Reissued and remastered in 2007 by Cherry Red.
 Contains 7 bonus track. 
18 tracks total.
Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Pop Rock
Label Number: CDM RED 328

© 1985-2007 Cherry Red
Bitter Sweet wasn't quite as immediate and entertaining as King's first outing, Steps in Time, but the British quartet's colorful take on arena rock ensured that the follow-up would never be boring (despite the absence of their trademark garish suits and spray-painted leathers). In fact, it's a fairly accomplished album, saved from pretentiousness at every turn by the strong melodies and Richard James Burgess' muscular production. He pumps up the fine single "Alone Without You" and "I Cringed, I Died, I Felt Hot" (a worthy successor to Steps in Time's "I Kissed the Spikey Fridge" in the canon of head-scratching King titles) with huge, crunching drums and big guitars, as gang backing vocals supply easy to remember hooks and offset Paul King's dramatic warble. As before, the band breaks up the straight-ahead dance-rock with some stylistic dabbling: "Platform One" is giddy, singalong reggae, while "2 M.B." harks back to the ska of Paul King's old band, the Reluctant Stereotypes, and "Mind Yer Toes" is a pretty piano ballad with lyrics that seem to address the problems of merry old England. Not that anyone bought King albums for their topicality: the pleasures here are sheerly aural and not to be discounted. But Bitter Sweet turned out to be the group's final platter; Paul King went on to made a 1987 solo album, Joy, before becoming an MTV VJ.

tags: king, bitter sweet, 1985, 2007, remaster, flac,

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