Roland Gift - Roland Gift
Roland Gift's name won't mean much to younger pop fans, but as the frontman of Fine Young Cannibals he was the driving force behind one of the most essential bands of the 80s. His debut album arrives fully 13 years after FYC's swansong, which probably explains why so many of these pop-soul songs err on the safe side and also why he sounds so uncharacteristically hesitant at times. When Gift's voice is in full flight, it's stunning - a shuddering, strangulated howl that raises even the most banal lyrics into something quite electric. While there's more than a few such moments here, however, Roland Gift is ultimately a disappointingly inconsistent album and can't help but give the impression of a man desperately trying to live off his past.
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