Play Deep (Columbia ’85) Rating: B+
The Outfield were a pop rock band who had a brief moment in the sun, much like other mid-‘80s contemporaries such as The Hooters and Men At Work. This album makes me think of my high school years, when radiant pop hits such as “Your Love” and “All The Love In The World” were popular. The Outfield’s most distinctive characteristic was Tony Lewis’ high-pitched voice, while guitarist-keyboardist (and backup singer; the band boasted nice harmonies) John Spinks supplied simple verse, chorus, verse songs with lightly melodic guitar hooks, bright keyboard colorings, and catchy choruses. For example, “Everytime You Cry” is a sentimental but pretty ballad that was also a minor hit, as was “Say It Isn’t So,” another easily singable summertime pop song with melancholic overtones. The hits are the best songs here, but album tracks like "I Don't Need Her," "61 Seconds," and "Talk To Me" are also extremely enjoyable. Play Deep’s second half is a bit more experimental and less memorable overall, but The Outfield rarely stray too far from their tuneful, heartfelt light rock approach (which at times recalls The Police) throughout this fine album.
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