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Mike Rutherford - Acting Very Strange CD (album) cover


Mike Rutherford


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1.68 | 72 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
1 stars I´m glad that sometimes I follow my intuition and do not listen to certain albums even if they are from people I deeply admire. Mike Ruterford´s second second solo effort is a typical example: I loved Smallcreep´s Day dearly, one of the best prog albums at the time (ok, it had some popish tunes too, but they were also great). Yet, I felt that Acting Very Strange would not be something I´d like (maybe the ugly cover was a warning?) and stayed away from it all theses years for one reason or another. It took me over 30 years to actually get the CD to finally listen to it. And I found out I was right all along. If Smallcrep´s Day had some similarities to Tony Bank´s A Curious Feeling of the same time, this one is also the counterpart of Banks hideous The Fugitive (also released at the period). Both are probably the worst stuff released by any current or former Genesis members ever (yes, I´m including here the entire Phill Collins solo discography!).

Some reviewers here complained a lot about Rutherford´s decision to take on the lead vocals. He may be no singer, but clearly his voice is the least of his problems here. In fact, he does it better than Banks did on that department. But the songs... my god! I always knew Rutherford was the more pop inclined member of the band (Collins was to blame, but he was always on R&B and soul music anyway), and Your Own Special Way was proof of that quite some time before. His first solo album had its share of ballads but, boy, do you really expected those songs to be that bad here? It´s hard to believe that such terrific musicians like Darryl Stuemer (ex Jean Luc Ponty and live Genesis guitarist), Stuart Copeland (The Police) and Peter Robinson (Brand X) are performing here. He could have hired much cheaper studio hands and the results would be pretty much the same.

The songs: undistinguished, repetitive, boring, unimaginative. Only a few nice moments, which are killed by the arrangements and repetition. The production is aimed for the typical 80´s audience (you know, those cheesy, plastic synths sound and electronic drums), even going as far as including a lot of very Americanized syrup sax solos you heard a million times before and after. Sometimes he seems to be trying to emulate his Genesis colleague Collins like on Who´s Fooling Who (very aply title!), complete with a brass arrangement, but to no avail. All could be forgiven if the tunes were good, but really, I don´t remember Rutherford releasing such weak bunch of songs anywhere else. Even his Mike + The Mechanics delivered much better stuff. The last track, Hideaway, is a little different from the rest of the techno pop stuff, and even then, it is nothing to be proud of. He was, indeed, acting very strange.

Like Banks The Fugitive, this record is nothing but a big mistake made by a great artist and should be avoided at all costs by anyone who likes music in general and prog rock in particular.

Tarcisio Moura | 1/5 |


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