October 07, 1985 12:00 PM

Dexy’s Midnight Runners

T.S. Eliot described the month of April as “mixing memory and desire.” This same combination is the fixation of Kevin Rowland, lead singer of Dexy’s Midnight Runners. Rowland coupled a powerful nostalgia for the songs of the past with the desire to forge an original style on Dexy’s critically acclaimed 1983 LP, Too-Rye-Aye. He does the same on this follow-up. His music is still alluring when it crossbreeds rhythm and blues with folksy Irish fiddles. But there is an unseemly amount of Dexy mumbling over—or, rather, under—the melodies. When he does sing, it sounds as if his vocal cords have been marinated in battery acid ‘or a month or two. Dexy’s obsession with his memory can be overbearing too, as it is when he borrows the riff from Warren Zevon’s Werewolves of London for the song One of Those Things, or when he chats interminably about a romantic liaison he had as a teenager in Reminiscence II. He is certainly an original, but it’s also obvious that he could do with a little less looking backward. (Polygram)

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