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Lawrence Gowan is a canadian musician, but few people know that he is a Glasgow, Scotland born.
Second album in his discography, "Strange Animal" was a commercial success, spawning the hit singles 'A Criminal Mind', '(You're A) Strange Animal' and 'Cosmetics'.
I won't fool you, this isn't an AOR album, this music is english 80's pop.
But with unusual, intelligent and original twists.
Produced by David Tickle (Prince, Split Enz, Sting, U2), you have a clear idea of sound and style.
Basically a keyboard player, Gowan wrote this stuff on piano, and all tracks are focused to the massive use of synthesizers, electric piano and (then 'the' new toy) fairlight.
Remarkable is the job of Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel) on bass and particularly the 'stick', that strange and rare instrument.
This album is catchy and pretty straightforward in its essence, but has uncommon arrangements and as said, creative twists, different sounding from other keyboard pop music that was being made at the same time in the golden decade.
Recorded in England, at the studio where John Lennon made his "Imagine" album, all these songs still sound fresh today, with that kind of eighties 'atmosphere' which is impossible to recreate again.
A good one.
01 - Cosmetics
02 - Desperate
03 - City of the Angels
04 - Walking on Air
05 - Burning Torches of Hope
06 - Keep the Tension On
07 - Guerilla Soldier
08 - (You're A) Strange Animal
09 - A Criminal Mind
Larry Gowan : vocals, piano, Fairlight CMI, synths
Chris Jarret : guitar
David Rhodes : guitar
Tony Levin : bass, stick
Jerry Marotta : drums & percussion
David Tickle : production, programming
GOWAN - Strange Animal