The subtle and eerie “In The Palm of Our Hands” from Cy Curnin’s Solar Minimum CD explodes as a video on YouTube and leads off this intriguing collection of twelve tunes, or perhaps it is eleven songs with an ethereal twenty seconds of the title track, a quickie Pink Floyd-ish excursion that would be nice extended on a future disc. Flavors from a song further down the list here, “Simply Complicated”, seem to slip into that title track’s musical movement, threaded nicely if you play the songs in succession.. Curnin discusses the undeveloped composition, “Solar Minimum”, on YouTube which sports a number of interview clips where the Fixx lead singer talks about this new release.
As The Fixx front man he had the powerful “One Thing Leads to Another” and “Saved by Zero”, terrific songs that helped define the commercial aspect of the New Wave rock movement, helping to bring the scene from the underground to the mainstream. This album is an extension way beyond the power structure of those tunes, an Adult Contemporary rock journey, not unlike Peter Gabriel, with Curnin evoking some of Gabriel’s vocal stylings, especially in the opening song.
The potential hit here is, to these ears, “It Finds You”, with its dynamic performance and strong hooks. “Sail” has keyboards and strings with a splash of Procol Harum during Keith Reid’s oceanic obsessions, or Sutherland Brothers & Quiver with their “Sailing” which Rod Stewart found a home on Top 40 for…”Sail” could be a latter-day cousin or even a left-field sequel to that classic. “Better Luck Next Time” follows the musical themes that are projected here and whether keyboard or guitar employed to back the compositions, it (the full CD) is very cosmic, laid back and poignant all at once. “Solar Minimum” may find a cult audience, though it deserves a wide berth…”Bleed” displays the artistic integrity and achievement of the mission statement we’ve come to expect from this veteran.
Things being what they are in these times when radio appears owned by what’s left of the record biz it still is going to come down to one song to move a full CD. “It Finds You” may just be the one to get these melodies out to the masses.
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He was a film critic for Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com and produces and hosts Visual Radio. Visual Radio is a fifteen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed John Lennon’s Uncle Charlie, Margaret Cho, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere, Marty Balin, Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.