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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Airwaves - New Day

Artist: Airwaves
Album: New Day
Year: 1978
Style: Shiny, Harmonic Pop.
Sounds Like: Wings, Foriegner, Beach Boys
"One-Word" Review: Slickly-Produced-70's-Pop
Based Out Of: England
Label: A&M Music, United Artists
Airwaves, Front Cover & Side 1
Airwaves Back Cover & Side 2

New Day - 1978
  1. Love Stop - 3.23
  2. Let Me In - 3.16
  3. The Cat - 2.45
  4. Keep Away the Blues - 3.21
  5. Hope You Won't - 3.25
  6. You Are The New Day - 2.08/
  7. So Hard Living Without You 3.30
  8. Nobody Is - 3.16
  9. Hideaway - 3.00
  10. Don't let the Daylight In - 3.14
  11. Go Getter - 4.00
Album Rating (1-10):
6.0

Members & Other Bands:
Dave Charles - Drums & percussion, Asst Engineer (Neutrons, Help Yourself, The Flying Aces with Martin Ace, Deke Leonard's Iceberg, Kid Creole & the Coconuts)
Ray Martinez - Lead Vox, Harmonies, Guitars, keyboards, Horns (Spring, Showaddywaddy)
John David - Lead Vocals, Harmonies, Bass, Keyboards (Love Sculpture, Dave Edmunds)
Pat Moran - Producer, Engineer (Spring, Pat Moran Quartet)
Rockfield Studios - Wales, UK
Bernie Grundman - Mastering @ A&M Recording Studios

Unknown-ness: Ive never heard of this band. Based on the cover, I felt I'd be in for a nice piece of prog treat. I mean, a post-apocalyptic landscape where two buildings are constructed to look like an airplane that crashed nose down into the earth on the left, with the nose protruding from the earth on the right. A "New Day" indeed. The year of 1978 also increased the prog-potential. But to top it off, the album was released on A&M; a label that put out some great stuff around that time period, so I was up for the challenge.

Album Review: To get a feel for the album, it is important to first note that they were a studio band. And second, that the album is really good. Half of the time, (the better half) it brings oldies rock and roll "up to date" to the production smoothness of the late 70's. Think if Chuck Berry and Beach Boys were recording their music with super-slick 70's production.

The Album begins with a "Kokomo" drum beat and "dirty bad-ass" synthesizers in "Love Stop". The song kinda sounds like Foriegner's "Urgent" backed with Bee Gee harmonized vocals. Its funky, but not what makes the album good. The next song sounds like typical 70's smooth rock, part Wings, part Beach Boys "Aren't You Glad." I swear I've heard this song, or a cover of it on the radio, but perhaps it is just so familiar, that it feels commonplace on 98.1 WOGL's 70's Sunday. The catchy hook I thought I'd heard before is the lyric "Open Up Your Heart and Let Me In." After doing some slight research, I did not find the song to be covered. The closest thing I found is "Let Me In" by "Chely Wright" (they share the same title and main lyric) which this song is decidedly not.

The next track begins with a cat 'meow' and slinks into a slowed up "Footloose bounce" synthesized bass line. "The Cat" is like the first track in mood and delivery. "Keep Away the Blues" is a catchy folky lite-rock single. Echoed verse and harmonized backgrounds give tremendous depth to this positive, motivational track. Somewhat of a ballad, "Hope You Won't" is still bouncy, but the vocals slowly rise and fall along the melody, asking his new love to stay. Next, they slow it down even more, to deliver their most famous song (by internet search standards): the completely accapella "You Are the New Day." It has the feeling of a church choir singing a Christmas carol. Here is a sample of a cover by the Kings Singer. Side 2 picks up the pace slightly with the sadly inevitable sequel to "Hope You Wont:" "So Hard Living Without You." This could easily be an Air Supply song, except the production is more in line with the Beach Boys...this song is the link between those two bands.

"Nobody Is" is their rendition of Chuck Berry's "Never Can Tell." This is a really great song, with a pleasant, quick tempo, and even a loud guitar solo, going in a completely different direction than the rest of the album. Because of this track, Let Me In is not the stand out track. The originality continues into "Hideaway." The chorus is very catchy, but creatively timed. A bit slower than "Nobody Is," but just as positively optimistic as "Keep Away The Blues." The next song, "Don't Let the Daylight In" is just like "The Cat" and "Love Stop," in musical style. Being another slowed up version of "Urgent, " it feels like background music to a poorly conceived early 80's detective TV show. Finally, like any good High-School essay, the album ends with a nice concise thesis, summarizing everything that came before it with "Go Better."

Stand Out Track:
Nobody Is

Links:
John David BBC

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this. A Fave from 1978, even when every other purchase was Pubk and New Wave.

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  2. Had this album both in vinyl & cassette. So Hard Living Without You got up to #3 on the Billboard charts, but stalled out there. Enjoyable to listen to!

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    Replies
    1. I have both of their albums on vinyl, and love them both. According to allmusic.com, "So Hard Living Without You" hit #62 un the U.S. Billboard top 100.

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