Deacon Blue – Riding on the Tide of Love (Album Review)

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.

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ALfie vera mellaAuthor posts

Born in 1971, in Metro Manila, Philippines, aLfie vera mella is a healthcare worker, singer/songwriter, and editor/writer. He was the frontman of the ’90s-peaking Philippine Alternative Rock / New Wave band Half Life Half Death, which released a full-length album and several singles on Viva Records. aLfie worked at Diwa Scholastic Press as an editor/writer of academic textbooks and supplementary magazines, focusing on Science & Technology and English Grammar & Literature. In 2003, aLfie migrated to Canada; he has since been living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He works full-time at a healthcare institution, while serving as the associate contributing editor of Filipino Journal—a local community newspaper in Winnipeg—tackling Literature, Languages, Cultures, Lifestyles, and Music. aLfie has been a music journalist since the mid-’90s for various print magazines as well as websites. He started writing album reviews for Cryptic Rock in 2015. In 2016, aLfie published Part One (Literature & Languages and Their Cultural Significance) of his Essay Series, Can You Hear the Sound of a Falling Leaf?; in 2021, his first book of poetry, Pag-íhip sa Dáhon ng Kahápon [Blowing Leaves of Yesterday]. In his spare time, he enjoys reading books and listening to music. aLfie is a dedicated father to his now 13-year-old son, Evawwen; and a loving husband to Kathryn Mella, who herself moonlights also as a writer aside from holding a degree in Bachelor of Arts, Major in Sociology.

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