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Articles Home » 1992 Articles » McLachlan, Craig - 1992 Hands Free
McLachlan, Craig - 1992 Hands Free

ARTIST: McLachlan, Craig
ALBUM: Hands Free
LABEL: Columbia
SERIAL: 471481 2
YEAR: 1992


LINEUP: Craig McLachlan - vocals, guitars, bass * Simon Hussey - keyboards, progamming * Mark Moffatt - guitars * Trant Williamson - harmonica * Chong Lim - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 One Reason Why * 02 I Hear You Knocking * 03 Understand My Love * 04 Masquerade * 05 Licence To Love You * 06 Burning Desire * 07 The Slightest Notion * 08 On My Own * 09 Freedom * 10 Too Young To Know * 11 Running Back To You * 12 A Lover Like You * 13 I Want Your Heart * 14 Slightest Reprise


Craig McLachlan is better known as an Australian actor, appearing on shows such as Neighbours and BUGS. His love of music is quite well known too, he is a huge KISS fan, and it shouldn't be surprising that his solo album 'Hands Free' is a damn good effort. Not the wishy-washy sort of music we'd expect from a TV personality come rock wannabe. This is glorious radio rock mostly. I think when push comes to shove, Craig would describe himself as a musician first, actor second. Whatever the case, his credentials are rock solid.

The Songs
The album opens up with 'One Reason Why'. A strong percussive beat leads us into melodic territory with ease. Keyboards and soulful vocals are the key. 'Understand My Love' contains some good elements: catchy chorus and a zingy guitar solo. Very cool. 'Masquerade' takes on a broody edge, the sort of thing that Def Leppard did with their eyes closed back in the 80's. Even a song like 'Burning Desire' grabs your attention, his Bono (U2) like vocalisms is slightly offputting but the song is saved regardless. The dreamy atmospheric quality of 'The Slightest Notion' is a change-up, and it is soon followed by the album highlight, the AOR-tastic 'On My Own'. Not too far behind is the excellent 'Lover Like You' - this is the same track which Voodoo X made popular a few years earlier. Even a track like 'I Want Your Heart' is quite hard-hitting.. or is that heart-pounding?? A couple of tracks take on a typical Aussie pub-rock sound, a la 'Licence To You' and 'Freedom', the latter sounding similar to fellow Aussie band Among Thieves who released their one and only album the same year. One or two miss-hits: the cover of 'I Hear You Knocking' is an intersting but probably an unnecessary rendition we didn't need to hear. 'Too Young To Know' is a tearful tune, best left on an album of ballads I'd suggest.

In Summary
Fourteen tracks represent good value for money. Easy to find in the cut-out bins, and well worth seeking out for a blast of melodic rock with a commerical radio edge. Considering that AORsters are starved of quality music these days, it seems that we are going to have to resort to hunting down past years rarities - such is the dearth out there right now.

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