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10cc - Deceptive Bends CD (album) cover




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3.28 | 104 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars "You've got a cold", altogether now, "you've got a cold"

With Lol Crème and Kevin Godley having departed to play with their Gizmo, Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart retained custody of the 10CC name, continuing as a duet. Instead of attempting to replace G&C, drummer Paul Burges was brought in on what was clearly a supporting role basis, his picture not even appearing on the sleeve. With the name came certain expectations in terms of standard and type of product. The question was, could the duo deliver?

"Deceptive bends" was the public's first chance to judge the new 10CC for themselves, the album facing the challenge of following up the highly rated "How dare you". Gouldman and Stewart decided to try to recreate the pop successes the band had enjoyed, and to some extent they succeeded on that front. The opening two tracks, "Good morning judge" and "The things we do for love" were both successful chart wise, and contained sufficient elements of witty lyrics and hummable melodies to suggest that the 10CC name would at least continue.

After that though, we are into a succession of pleasantly diverting, but generally forgettable pop rock songs. While the song writing credits are democratically shared throughout, it is usually easy to segregate the Stewart songs from the Gouldman ones, especially since they tend to take lead on their own songs. Stewart's "People in love" is one of his endearing ballads, nicely orchestrated by Del Newman. The chauvinistic lyrics of "Modern man blues" were not politically correct in 1977, and would go down even less well now. The song itself is a bluesy shuffle of little note.

"Honeymoon with 'B' troop" is lyrically similar to "When you're in love with a beautiful woman" but delivered as an up-tempo funky song. It is one of a trio of throwaway songs which open side two of the album. The brief "I bought a flat guitar studio" disappears up its own proverbial in over clever but pointless lyricism. "You've got a cold" is even less enjoyable than actually having one, the song describing the symptoms while being completely devoid of a discernible melody. The chorus repeats ad- infinitum "You've got a c-o-o-o-old"!.

The saving grace for the album is the 11½ minute, three part "Feel the benefit". The song is a rather over arranged "One night in Paris" like venture, which sounds very Beatles like at times. To their credit, the duo do at least try to do something a little more imaginative here, and the guitar work, while all to brief, adds some fine colours. The final part includes the some of the corniest lyrics the band have written (and they have come up with some classics!), including "If all the people in the world could sing together. We'd all feel the benefit".

In all, this may be more than half as good as previous 10CC albums, but it does have the feel of a duo who are not entirely sure of themselves. In some ways, the album parallels "A momentary lapse of reason", in that it is a decent facsimile of 10CC's halcyon days.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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