Sunday, 4 August 2019

Wet Wet Wet - 10 (1997)

Beyond the sea....


Released on 31 March 1997

Running time 50.17

I must admit I quite enjoyed my Wet Wet Wet albums between the late eighties and this one, in 1997. I have no embarrassment about admitting that. This was the last one that I bought, though. Not that this was a bad album, but it was not really offering too much different than any of the previous albums had. Wet Wet Wet had become the go-to band for cod-funk, cod-soul with tinges of cod-country. The production was now super slick, effortless and, because it was so good, the music was losing any edge it may have had. It was all getting a bit too easy. This was probably the group's most easy listening album thus far, too. Their previous albums had their share of uptempo numbers, but they are pretty much non-existent on here. It used to be that their albums often faded out in their second halves with slow-paced ballads. This album is comprised totally of them.


1. If I Never See You Again
2. Back On My Feet
3. Fool For Your Love
4. The Only Sounds
5. If Only I Could Be With You
6. I Want You
7. Maybe I'm In Love
8. Beyond The Sea
9. Lonely Girl
10. Strange
11. Theme From Ten
12. It Hurts                                                       

If I Never See You Again is a slick, smooth, big production and very typical Wet Wet Wet ballad to open the album. You know what you're getting here - a good Marti Pellow vocal, big chorus, sweeping strings, some nice guitar interjections. They had mastered the formula by now. Back On My Feet is a punchy piece of horn-driven country soul. I like this one a lot. Fool For Your Love is a melodic, laid-back, easy-ish number. The Only Sounds continues the gentle ambience with a delicious ballad. Pellow's vocal is superb. You still have to give Wet Wet Wet credit for stuff like this. It was perfect, tuneful, romantic pop.

If I Could Only Be With You is another of those big, grandiose ballads. I Want You is a deep, bluesy, late night ballad. It has a lovely bass line. It is another smoochy number. In 1997, it was de rigeur to record a "swing"-style track. Wet Wet Wet duly do that on the Sinatra-influenced jazzy strains of Maybe I'm In Love. It is their own song but very mush in the fifties style. The easy listening vibe continues in the even more jazzily smooth cover of the standard Beyond The Sea. You have to say it is most appealing.

Lonely Girl is back to more traditional Wet Wet Wet fare, a soulful number with a vaguely funky background. Strange is a catchy, brassy piece of pop/soul. Theme From Ten is an instrumental which sticks to the ambience of the album. It Hurts has a slightly reggae-influenced beat, but once more, it doesn't deviate from the overall relaxed atmosphere of the album. In fact, this would be the group's final album until they released a reunion one in 2007. It had been ten great years for them, but it was all starting to sound a bit the same so the split probably came at the right time, even though this was a fine-sounding, professional album.