October 26, 1987 12:00 PM

Go West

Go West has gone south. Somewhere between their first and this, their second album, the British duo got turned around. The debut of Peter Cox and Richard Drummie featured well-turned soulful pop that brought to mind Level 42. Now, when they try the same sort of song that initially made them popular, it comes across as cluttered and hectic. The best example of this is I Want To Hear It From You, which has a surface like a glitzy dance club re-mix: far too bright and self-conscious. The best parts of this record have slower tempos and a much bluer tone, songs like Little Caesar and From Baltimore to Paris. They allow Cox to exploit an unconventional but seductive voice that manages to reconcile wispiness and duskiness. He certainly never tries to nail any notes to the wall, and these sadder songs are perfect for his watercolor vocal proclivities. Only on one song—The King Is Dead—does Go West take their newfound maturity too far, for the attempt at jazzy sophistication is an obvious overreach. Go West still has an attractive and promising style; it just doesn’t grab you by the lapels this time around. (Chrysalis)

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