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THE FIXX Beautiful Friction (2012)

The Fixx

The Fixx. Now there's a name that strikes a distant chord. And one that had me scrabbling in the depths of my vinyl collection to discover that, yes, I did have a copy of their 1983 album Reach The Beach which spawned the worldwide hit One Thing Lead To Another.

It was something of surprise to learn that 30 years on the band are still together and the 2012 will see the release of their 10th studio album. Not only that but, although the line-up has fluctuated over the years, Beautiful Friction sees the original line up reunited.

And although there have been 'wilderness years',Beautiful Friction is a worthy reminder of just how successful The Fixx were in the English 'new wave' era - three #1 hits, five in the top 5, a dozen reaching the Top Ten, and millions of albums sold worldwide.

And while , since the mid eighties, the band's profile has sunk below the radar in the UK, they've maintained a wider following in the States and Canada.

They may now be veterans, but in many ways, little has changed - the same pulsing rhythms pervade Beautiful Friction, Cy Curnin's vocals sound like he's been cytogenetically frozen in time, and with Midge Ure relaunching Ultravox, it would seem like the time is right for The Fixx to remerge.

Beautiful Friction sits somewhere between Simple Minds, Duran and Ultravox in style and while the band's new wave roots are evident throughout, the album nevertheless sounds suitably modern - the silkily smooth hypnotic title track and the album closer Small Thoughts being prime examples.

The sad thing is, a revival tour with other survivors of the era apart, in the UK at least, The Fixx are likely to remain but a distant memory for most.


Review by Pete Whalley

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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