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City Boy - Young Men Gone West CD (album) cover


City Boy


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3.28 | 29 ratings

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3 stars Where would City Boy take their music after the masterful performance on Dinner At The Ritz?

There are generally two ways that an artist/band can go about after releasing a strong album. Either you continue pushing the music into the same direction in order to uncover more potential within the music and push the material to a higher artistic ground or scratch everything and start over from the top. One might assume that the second alternative is an easy way out of the high expectations that the audience might have on the follow-up and that's true even though moving away from a familiar formula will most probably alienate the existing fans base. Queen managed to achieve a comedic effect by following up the grand A Night At The Opera with the light-hearted A Day At The Races, which is probably one of the most successful transitions in the history of rock music. This was really not the case with City Boy.

The band returned to the short song format where most tracks keep around the 4-minute mark and featuring a wide array of styles that will remind you of their debut album from the previous year. I guess that the pressure from the record company began getting to the sextet and Young Men Gone West definitely has a huge hit potential with every track clearly designed to become a potential chart topper. Ultimately all this effort was clearly wasted since it often requires a lot more than great songwriting to please the masses and 1977 was really not a great year for the Art Rock scene.

The album does deliver a few moments for me, especially the majestic ending with The Millionaire, but it lacks the consistency that I expect of a great studio recording. Not a terrible album by any standards, just not really a special nor a rewarding experience for any fan of Art Rock.

***** star songs: The Millionaire (4:26)

**** star songs: Bordello Night (3:04) Honeymooners (3:55) She's Got Style (3:20) Young Men Gone West (4:05) One After Two (3:29) Man Who Ate His Car (3:00)

*** star songs: Dear Jean (I'm Nervous) (5:33) Bad For Business (3:33) I've Been Spun (3:24) Runaround (3:19)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |


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