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This Picture - 1994 City Of Sin

ARTIST: This Picture
ALBUM: City Of Sin
LABEL: Arista
SERIAL: 07822-18647-2
YEAR: 1994


LINEUP: Duncan Forrester - drums, percussion * Austen Rowley - bass, backing vocals * Robert Forrester - guitars, mandolin * Symon Bye - vocals, piano

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Great Escape * 02 Heart Of Another Man * 03 Sycamore Seeds * 04 Hand On My Soul * 05 Face Up To The Facts * 06 Fire In The House * 07 Rains Like Fire * 08 City Of Sin * 09 Highrise * 10 The Outsider * 11 The Prophet

Some of you may remember the first release from British band This Picture - 'A Violent Impression'. The 1991 CD received its fair share of criticism, much of it dead on for sounding just a little too much like Ireland's U2. Now I've never been the biggest U2 fan, although I thought at the time the disc and single 'Naked Rain' was some of the best stuff 1991 had to offer, but boy how times change. A few days ago I pulled out that album and their follow-up 'City Of Sin', listening to both in sequence for the first time in over ten years and I'm left wondering what the fuss was all about.

The Songs
Make no mistake, three 'what should have been soul searching' years had passed when 'City Of Sin' arrived in 1994, but not much had changed as the band were still pulling liberally from the heart of the U2 'big pop' songbook. Tunes like opener 'The Great Escape', 'Heart Of Another Man' and 'Sycamore Seeds' are very much copies of their idols and are excellent in their own right. To be fair, I hear some late period Simple Minds in the bands music at this point although tunes like 'Face Up To The Facts' and the horrendous 'Fire In The House' bring an unnecessary funky element to the music that they clearly should have avoided like the plague. I like the title track as well as the album's first single 'High Rise' and like Simple Minds and U2, there's a certain level of spirituality present in the bands lyrics, but much of the material seems like so much filler and overall the album lacks the pizzazz of its predecessor even with its rampant plagiarism.

In Summary
Apparently these guys got back together in 2005 and recorded an album that has yet to be released. I'd like to hear the results since it would be interesting to hear if they had outgrown their Bono fixation or it was just business as usual for This Picture.

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#1 | gdazegod on July 14 2010 01:48:08
I can gather what this CD sounds like by the review. I was quite partial to Simple Minds back then, have a couple of their albums too. Less so U2.
#2 | Eric on July 14 2010 14:00:02
Yes, the only thing I've liked from U2 is the tune 'Beautiful Day' which is more recent but has a great riff. Other than that not much interest.
#3 | englandashes on July 17 2010 14:59:07
I hadn't listened to a U2, for at least 20 years, then brought No Line On The Horizon recently and I thought it was great, played it alot, even thought about a possible review.
#4 | trillion1999 on October 25 2011 15:28:08
I like most of what I heard from Bono and the guys.Ditto for Jim Kerr and his lads.Maybe I should have picked this up from the bargain-bins when I saw it.It has a nice cover after all come to think of it.Another record-store gone now.Maybe would not have made any difference picking up one 1 dollar-CD.

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