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Beautiful Friction is an eclectic collection of thoughts using the instrumental roots of the band to portray them. This will be the 10th studio album for The Fixx, but they have stayed close to their ’80s pop tendencies. There is always that dreamy scenery with a more abrupt foreground. The familiarity of this style is not a dissapointment though – it is taken with open arms. If anything, it is a refreshing take on old time favorites. The album as a whole is really a nostalgic look at the future.
The album is opened straight up with a single. “Anyone Else” immediately warms the listener up to the easily accessible style that The Fixx has mastered. Even though the tracks do not have a clear catch line, it is the energy that soars up and down along the way that makes it all worth the listen. Beautiful Friction might hit a variety of concepts, but if there is one thing that ties it together it is the idea that it is all about the journey rather than one particular moment in time.
As a measure of how high The Fixx can take the journey, give “Follow That Cab” a chance. The band exudes energy as they profess that they are in control. The technique translates that the feeling of the lyrics is very realistically executed, using an out-of-control style that contrastes with the way that the lyrics are trying to promise that there is control. Everyone can plead guilty to trying to put on a fit façade when they are spiraling a little bit out of the lines. It is the amount of raw power that is pushed through the song that really makes this prevalent.
“Shaman” is another very thoughtfully pieced together track. The smooth feeling sets a tone a little different from the rest of the album, but fits in regardless with its way of building waves of sound. Instrumentals are something to take account of. A correlation between the purpose of the lyrics and the instrumentals are strong. This could be said to be a given, but Beautiful Friction takes the care and consideration of the two to a new level.
What is special about this album though, is its way in comforting fans. You feel assured that the band can still pull together an interesting album, staying true to the aspects that everyone has attached to throughout the years. Vocalist Cy Curnin in particular offers a voice that has miraculously carried the songs out in the same way that it did back in the band’s early years. When he digs into the title track, “Beautiful Friction”, he still swoons with that genuine passion of a voice. This album is restoration in the faith that a band can continue to stay creative and offer talent over the years.
If you liked this, check out:
“Just Tell Me That You Want Me: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac” by Various Artists
“Tiny Prayers” by Aaron Embry