Andy Bell: Non-Stop (Mute) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Tuesday, December 10th, 2019  

Andy Bell

Non-Stop

Mute

Jun 01, 2010 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


It is always the singer that gets the most attention, even when your group only has two members in it. Erasure equals Andy Bell and all his outlandish, outrageous, "out"-ness. But when Bell ventures out on his own for the second time in 25 years (he released his first solo effort, Electric Blue, in 2005), turns out he needs his Erasure partner, Vince Clarke's tether.

Bell's latest solo album, Non-Stop, steps over the thinly drawn boundary line over to the wrong side of Euro-trance cheese. This is experienced most painfully on the imitative "Say What You Want," which wastes Bell's exceptional vocal abilities on a low-rent derivative house diva style number. Not making matters any better is the thin, weak synth-driven "Will You Be There?" Even power dance ballads such as "Slow Release" do nothing to redeem the direness of Non-Stop. Things only get worse when "Touch" puts vocoder-esque effects on Bell's vocals. Why is this necessary? To make it match the robotic, non-melodic backing track? Debbie Harry should have nothing to do with the ode to her on the flat-out silly "DHDQ." The only vaguely redeeming moments on Non-Stop are when it takes its cues from Daft Punk/Stardust's Thomas Bangalter's unerring feel for a hit dance track on "Call On Me." Sadly, this is only maintained for the intro and a touch of the chorus, and it quickly loses momentum in the interim.

It is a crimeand an embarrassmentto have Bell's voice anywhere near these compositions. Why Non-Stop? Please, Make It Stopand do not let Bell do anything without Clarke's approval. (www.andybell.com)

Author rating: 2/10

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