Thursday, June 26, 2014

Icehouse - Sidewalk

Today (June 26th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Sidewalk, the third studio album from the Australian band Icehouse. The 1984 release charted at number 39 in Germany and number 8 in Australia.

Performing on the record were Iva Davies (guitar, vocals, oboe, synthesizer and drum programming), Robert Kreschmer (guitar and backing vocals), John Lloyd (drums and backing vocals), Guy Pratt (bass and backing vocals), Andy Qunta (keyboards), and Joe Camilleri (saxophone).

Side one opens with up-tempo "Taking the Town". As the first single, this celebration of the night went to number 32 in New Zealand and number 29 in Australia.

"This Time", a hopeful song about finding new love, is up next.

"Someone Like You" is filled with longing and regret for a past relationship.

"Stay Close Tonight" follows up nicely, as a man begs his former love to stay one more night. It was the B-side to the third single.

The second single "Don't Believe Anymore" hit number 36 in New Zealand and number 31 in Australia. It continues on the theme of a post-breakup with one wondering how and why the other person changed so much.

Side two starts with the title track "Sidewalk". The song speaks to American capitalism and how someone could go from wealth to poverty. The band reminds me quite a bit of Simple Minds on this one (similar synth and vocal elements).

"Dusty Pages", the third single, stalled at number 82 in Australia. The title is a metaphor for a past relationship, put up on the shelf of memories to collect dust.

With "On My Mind", a guy decides to move on but knows that his former love will continue to be on his mind wherever he goes.

The mid-tempo "Shot Down" is next.

The album closes with "The Mountain"

I was not familiar with the early Icehouse records, so this was my first listen to Sidewalk. I actually had to rely on YouTube for this review as it is not available on the usual streaming sites.

I liked Sidewalk though I would have preferred a bit more variety in the themes in the songs. What I have read, it sounds like Iva Davies was going through a breakup when he wrote many of the tracks for this record.

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