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10cc - ...Meanwhile CD (album) cover

...MEANWHILE

10cc

 

Prog Related

2.53 | 40 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars No going back

At first sight, "Meanwhile" appears to be a reunion album, with all four original members receiving performance credits on the album. The last time the four recorded together was in 1976, so this 1992 album suggested that time had performed its well know healing effect, and all hatchets had been buried.

Look a little closer though, and the truth starts to become clearer. This is in fact another Gouldman-Stewart 10CC album, with Godley and Creme appearing as guests. The story goes that Godley and Creme were contractually obligated to Polydor records to deliver one further album, so this collaboration suited all the parties involved. The record label naturally promoted the album as a full reunion, but a quick check of the writing credits leaves us searching in vain for the Godley/Creme numbers. Godley and Creme's contribution is in fact largely restricted to occasional backing vocals, although Kevin Godley does single lead on "The Stars Didn't Show".

The album was recorded in the Bearsville studios (Todd Rundgren) in new York, and produced by Gary Katz (Steely Dan). This gives it something of a transatlantic feel, which unfortunately leaves it somewhere in the middle of said ocean. On the plus side, guests include Gouldman's Wax partner Andrew Gold and Dr. John makes a guest appearance. The lengthy list of mainly session musicians though would later lead to Graham Gouldman in particular being less than fully satisfied with the results.

We should not get to bogged down in the negatives though, overall this is a decent addition to the 10CC discography. Tracks such as the beautifully melodic "Wonderland" take us back to the finer album tracks of the band, if not the perfect pop of their trade mark singles. On the other hand, "Fill her up" and "Welcome to paradise" remind us that sometimes this band were just too damned clever for their own good, resulting in a deficiency of quality control.

As a rule, the songs are more laid back than usual, agreeable mid-paced melodic pop ballads being the order of the day. Even tracks such as "Green eyed monster", which we might have expected to have been an upbeat rock number, drifts along with smooth elegance. Fortunately, there is no "Dreadlock holiday" equivalent, indeed the album is pretty much devoid of genuine flippancy.

The closing track has some additional interest in that Paul McCarney receives a co-writing credit. Once again though, this is a pretty routine pop ballad; nice enough but unremarkable.

Overall, "..meanwhile" fails to live up to the promise a reunion of the gang of four might represent. The songs are safe, but this also means they lack the spark required to re-ignite interest in the band. Polydor would quietly walk away from the multi-album contract they had negotiated when the album failed to find the expected success, and the two factions would once more leave in different directions.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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