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Unruly Child – Our Glass House

Unruly Child
Our Glass House
by Mike McMahan at 28 January 2021, 6:38 PM

I really wanted to like this album. It is the ninth studio record from UNRULY CHILD, formed in 1991 by Marcie Free, Guy Allison, Bruce Gowdy, Jay Schellen and bassist Larry Antonio, who have become an AOR staple throughout the years. This release, “Our Glass House”, also features one of my all-time favorite musicians, the legendary Tony Franklin, on bass. The band’s eponymous first release, from 1992, was full of fire; with a heavy sound and fantastic writing. Since, they have been plagued by release after release of completely vanilla, blasé sounding output. I began this review in the hopes that this record may eradicate some of that problem.

In a way, that is exactly what I found here. The twelve songs that make up “Our Glass House” are an eclectic blend, bordering on a somewhat progressive sound not unlike eighties era YES. The musicianship involved, on all levels, is truly superb, as well. The album was produced by Guy Allison and Bruce Gowdy, and it is in that production…or OVER-production…that most of my issues seem to lie.

“Poison Ivy” opens this release promisingly enough, with a fantastic intro and some excellent writing. Free hasn’t lost a step with her vocal prowess, either. The song, for me, is the record’s highlight; although, by the time it was over, I found myself waiting impatiently for something else. The multi layered harmonies began to leave me a bit cold toward its ending.

“Say What You Want” is another rocker, but the lyrical content, for the most part, felt a bit contrived for my taste. The song “Our Glass House” has a power ballad feel, and honestly sounds, to my ear, as if it could have been pulled from the early nineties. “Underwater” shows some promise from the onset, but unfortunately falls victim to the layered vocals as “Poison Ivy”.

This album is NOT terrible, by any stretch of the imagination. It is filled with exceptional musicianship. Free’s voice sounds very crisp, when not being drowned in the mix, and the lyrical content on some of these tracks is very good. At the end of the day, the songs here are safe, non-threatening, AOR “ordinary”; and when mixed with the over-production I have already mentioned, just left me somewhat cold.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 7
Production: 6


 

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1.Poison Ivy
2.Say What You Want
3.Our Glass House
4.Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead
5.Talked You Out Of Loving Me
6.Underwater
7.Catch Up To Yesterday
8.Freedom Is A Fight
9.The Wooden Monster
10.Here To Stay
11.To Be Your Everything
12.Let’s Talk About Love
Lineup:
Marcie Free – Vocals
Guy Allison – Keyboards, Percussion, Vocals
Bruce Gowdy – Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals
Tony Franklin – Bass
Jay Schellen – Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Music SRL
     


Rating

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Edited 14 June 2021
 

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