One of the purveyors of Sophistipop and New Wave music during the late 1980s and the 1990s, Deacon Blue was formed back in 1985, in Glasgow, Scotland. Selling over six million albums worldwide, the hardworking Scottish group was behind the ’80s-released singles “When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring),” “Love’s Great Fears,” “Love and Regret,” and “Real Gone Kid.”
Still fresh from 2020’s City of Love, their ninth overall album, Deacon Blue is ready again with a batch of new materials coming out on Friday, February 5, 2021, via earMUSIC Records. What they are calling a mini-album, Deacon Blue – Ricky Ross (lead vocals, piano), James Prime (keyboards, piano), Lorraine McIntosh (backing and lead vocals, percussion), Dougie Vipond (drums, percussion), Gregor Philp (guitar), and Lewis Gordon (bass) – have certainly taken advantage of the contemplative time caused by the still ongoing pandemic by creating more songs that many people can reflect with these days.
Titled Riding on the Tide of Love, the brand new album consists of eight songs that are a mix of well-orchestrated midtempo stompers and reflective slow burners. A great companion to City of Love, it opens with the upbeat title-track and ends aptly with the slow ballad “It’s Still Early.” Other standout songs are the equally engaging and breezy “She Loved the Snow,” the folky, acoustic-oriented “Look Up,” and the bluesy, countryside allure of “Send a Note Out.” Additionally there is the piano-led “Not Gonna Be That Girl,” which begins as a slow ballad then builds up with a catchy horn-filled chorus, only to rest subtly once again with a hint of misty eyes and a broken heart.
Overall, Riding on the Tide of Love is a nice and relaxing way to greet the still very young year. It retains the trademark sound of the well-loved group—classy and sophisticated, yet catchy and accessible. A pleasant surprise, and quick follow up to City of Love, Cryptic Rock gives Deacon Blue’s Riding on the Tide of Love 4 out of 5 stars.