21st January 1977

By CHB of Sounds Around

Liverpool Express made one of last year’s better singles. It showed great promise and bore all the marks of being a mile stone for 1976 in that its production and general quality stood out as both original and satisfying.
The style and variety of ‘You Are My Love’ is maintained in part on their debut album, ‘Tracks’.
Initially it sounds as though the four Scousers are trying to recreate the era of the Liverpool scene all over again.
A couple of tracks – such as the opening ‘Smile’ and the following ‘Hold Tight’ – are really reminiscent of what happened when dozens of groups tried to beat the Beatles at their own game.
But listen again to ‘You Are My Love’ and the song which follows it on the album, ‘She’s A Lady’, to see how the group can stamp it’s own identity on a song.
The single was a masterpiece of production, crisp writing and sining. The following track also sounds very modern there’s a very effective contrast between voices and, as on a number of tracks, there’s a wide variety of good keyboard work.
All the songs bar two are written by ex-Merseybeat Billy Kinsley and Roger Craig. Their style is economical but not a bit shallow.
Tony Coates helped them write ‘Julian The Hooligan’. It’s a song in suites, almost a song written in distinct chapters. In some ways, particularly the up-tempo opening passage. It’s reminiscent of British group Charlie. Then, between these jumpy, rhythmic sections, overlush strings and subdued voices are used.
Tied in with the atmospheric use of children’s playground voices, it makes for a good track – even if the quieter’ parts are a little too sentimental.
But the sentimentality is not as bad as on the next track, ‘Rosemary’. Here it is overpowering and rather too sickly for me.
Birdsong opens the first track of side two, ‘It’s A Beautiful Day’, and here Liverpool Express show how an emotional song should be treated.
Acoustic guitars in the background and a very “open” feeling to it really project the song as a pastel image. Very well done indeed.
Liverpool Express’s crew all sing with high modern voices, displaying an ear for the modern market. They also play exceedingly well and – all in all – they appear to be set for far higher places during 1977 in spite of the few wrinkles in their debut album, on Warner Bros., which time and further playing together will iron out.

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