Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Holly Johnson - Blast (1989)


Released April 1989

After the somewhat unsurprising implosion of overnight sensations Frankie Goes To Hollywood, a shell-shocked Holly Johnson returned a few years later with this, his only successful solo album. It actually reached number one in the UK album charts.


1. Atomic City
2. Heaven's Here
3. Americanos
4. Deep In Love
5. S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
6. Love Train
7. Got It Made
8. Love Will Come
9. Perfume
10. Feel Good

It is actually a sort of synth pop album with hints of Latin carnival rhythms, electro pop, disco hooks and a camp effervescence. To be honest, it functions around three excellent cornerstones - the extended, hooky opener "Atomic City", which sounds like something The Clash may have done in their disco/hip hop/rock experimentations ("The Magnificent Seven", "Overpowered By Funk"); the impossibly catchy hit single "Americanos" and the wonderful, "Love Train". The latter has a fantastic refrain and sees Johnson providing one of his finest, energetic vocals. "You're a work of art, you're the Trevi Fountain..." is a great opening line. I have always really loved this song.

The remainder of the album is perfectly listenable, in a late eighties sort of way, but some of it strays uncomfortably into "filler" territory. "Heaven's Here" and "Deep In Love" are a bit more than that, while "Feel Good" is a sombre, downtempo ballad that works pretty well. Not of it is unlistenable, however, and the album is worthy of digging out every year or so, for a "blast".


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