Review: The Colourfield – Deception

When the sleeve notes for an album reissue struggle to say something positive, it’s not normally a good sign. A case in point is ‘Deception’, the second and final album from The Colourfield. With the group fragmenting around main songwriter Terry Hall and session musicians a-plenty, there’s a definite lack of cohesion here but there’s also songs which are worth salvaging.

It’s perhaps no surprise that the album features one of the kings of 1980’s excess, Tears For Fears’ Roland Orzabal, although to be fair his contributions to ‘Running Away’ and ‘Confessions’ are barely noticeable. The former, a cover of a Sly And The Family Stone contains the tinniest of production and programmed drums (a regular feature on ‘Deception’), not to mention obscene amounts of sax but it’s still quite charming. Another cover version, ‘She’, is a further highlight.

Sadly, gems of original material are less easy to come by. ‘Miss Texas 1987’ avoids stylsh tics with a comparatively subtle arrangement. ‘Monkey In Winter’ is featured here with versions by two vocalists, Hall and Sinead O’Connor. Both are worth a listen for their fine performances. Much of the rest, however, sounds as if an excitable child randomly cycled through the pre-programmed buttons on a Casio keyboard. Thankfully, bonus tracks ‘Things Could Be Beautiful’ and ‘Frosty Mornings’ (the latter unbelievably relegated to B-side status) turn an average album into a decent compilation.

Although it’s not without its moments, there can be little debate that ‘Deception’ is a far inferior bedfellow to ‘Virgins & Philistines’, the wonderful debut. Clearly, Hall was ready to move on to his new project, Terry, Blair and Anouchka.

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