Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
Midge Ure is arguably a man who has seen it all and lived it all, certainly when it comes to music. A member of one of the finest bands to come out of the U.K., the rich tapestry of working with the legendary Phil Lynot and Thin Lizzy, writing several hit songs including the superb Visage track Fade To Grey, Love’s Great Adventure, If I Was and been a founding member alongside The Boomtown Rats outspoken frontman Bob Geldof of Band Aid; and somehow in amongst it all somehow finding the precious time to keep going on the road and performing with absolute elegance to audiences up and down the country, he cannot be accused of being delicate.
How he remains seemingly tireless and still so scintillating, perhaps nobody will ever truly find out and yet this BRIT Award and Grammy award winner has found the time yet again to release a new album and it is an enjoyable as a walk in the summer sun with the gentle tug of light breeze reminding you just what it feels to be alive, Fragile by name, unwavering, constant and focused by nature.
Fragile shows Midge Ure’s precious voice off with great precision, the range that he has shown time and time again whilst playing many of highly rated acoustic shows over the last few years has something evidently different attached to it when placed into the realms of the electronic in which he made his initial mark. A man who can be so comfortable in the moment, even after a decade since his last solo release, deserves to always be known as one the true greats of the late 20th and early 21st Century.
Fragile glides like the finest dancer on the stage, its sweeping movements, its allusion in parts to the Progressive, the nod to the understated and yet climaxing in a shower of explosive notes and dangerously seductive lyrics. Tracks such as Let It Rise, the amazing Star Crossed, the chill of rampant expectation that goes hand in hand with Dark, Dark Night and the grace like, unseen motioned hand that performs For All You Know, these are songs in which when the headphones go in, when the music is being caressed and the lyric bites gently down on the core, these are then tracks that haunt and resonate. The sinister will recoil away but those that understand the craftsmanship that has gone into making Fragile, there will be no thought of hesitation in making an album in which to retreat into for a while. There is no better place to sit and take stock than the beauty of somebody else’s thoughts.
Fragile is released on July 7th.
Ian D. Hall