April 28, 2020 Cutting Crew – Ransomed Healed Restored Forgiven (Album Review)
Back in the 1980s, there was an abundance of music that defined the decade. A time where all the radio hits were easily recognized, often equally loved, all these years later the decade of excess is still making an impact. From all ’80s playlists, to all ’80s channels on SiriusXM Radio, to the interjection in film soundtracks, there is no escaping the power of this music. That said, everyone knows the massive hit “(I Just) Died In Your Arms.” Released in 1986 by the UK Rock band Cutting Crew, the song peaked at number one in the United States, Canada, as well as in Finland, but also reached the top five in the UK, South Africa, Sweden, and Switzerland.
A timeless classic in the eyes of many, who is aware that perhaps the final recording you have heard all these years is not entirely what the creators had in mind? Yes, that is right, Cutting Crew Songwriter/Vocalist Nick Van Eede, along with Producer Terry Brown, famously known for his work with Rush, in fact had a different vision in mind for the drums on “(I Just) Died In Your Arms.” At this point a footnote in history, what if Van Eede had the opportunity to go back and do it differently? Well, there is currently no feasible form of time travel, however, Van Eede’s Cutting Crew were given the chance to rerecord and reissue “(I Just) Died In Your Arms” along with a list of other tracks for the brand new album Ransomed Healed Restored Forgiven.
Rerecorded in early 2020, the new compilation was released as a digital/streaming album on April 24th with physical release set for Friday, May 8th via UK/US based record label August Day. Recorded with a sixty piece philharmonic orchestra, the album features eleven tracks in total with entries from Cutting Crew’s 1986 debut album Broadcast, 1989’s The Scattering, 2006’s Grinning Souls, as well as 2015’s Add to Favourites. In addition, there is also a brand new track called “Climb Aboard” sung by Van Eede and fellow bandmate Gareth Moulton.
All tracks dedicated fans are familiar with, and some which more casual fans are familiar with – “(I Just) Died In Your Arms,” “I’ve Been in Love Before,” “One for the Mockingbird” – the new recordings feature a new dimension. For example, “(I Just) Died In Your Arms” was always a song that would fit flawlessly with a grand orchestrated production, and this recording does not disappoint. Possessing the same magic as the original, the emotion of the new instrumentation, matched with Van Eede’s voice and the signature guitars, are breathtaking. This is also the case with “I’ve Been in Love Before,” which soars to new heights and beams through with delicate textures on “Everything But My Pride,” the explosive build of “No Problem Child,” as well as the powerful “Any Colour.”
Which leads us to the new original song, “Climb Aboard.” This is a storytelling folk-like ballad. Enticing you, the back and forth vocals of Van Eede and Moulton enchant while the electric guitars blister. That said, those who thirst for new music will certainly find something to enjoy with this track while asking the question, could this be a prelude to what Van Eede will do on a new original Cutting Crew LP?
Only time will tell where Cutting Crew will go next, but this album is a three-dimensional journey into the music the band has created over the years. Organic and uncontrived, the album flows like a stream and will inspire you to dig into their back catalog for further exploration. Worth checking out, the past is alive and never sounded so good. That is why Cryptic Rock gives Ransomed Healed Restored Forgiven 4.5 out of 5 stars.