Melody Maker


25th November 1989

Page 32



BRITE SIDE (Chrysalis)
IN this fine and glorious week of walls tumbling down and Mailer upsetting the grotesque Princess Fergie by telling her his new book is all about “pussy” (Big Norm herby reinstated as God Number One and most sensitive man in the world), of Liverpool F.C. going to the World Cup under the pseudonym of “Eire” and of penguins being kidnapped from London Zoo (staggering how much source material a flick through the tabloids can produce), there is, of course, only one single.
I didn’t ask to review the singles this week. It’s just one of those wonderful, inevitable things, ordained by fate, or destiny, or Allan Jones, call it what you will. Nevertheless it would take a thoroughly deaf and dumb non-Blonde to miss the magic, mystery, and melancholy of “Brite Side”, soon to be the most elegant and subtle chart hit sinca Japan’s “Ghosts”.
Always the album’s crystalline peak (bar the seven-minute poem “End Of The Run”), this sensibly-spelt shimmer is the perfect second stage in the comeback because so utterly contrasting to the Jezebel junkfood of “I Want That Man”, so sublimely profound if you so much as half want it to be. How many AR Kane/Young Gods huffing puffing efforts have the necessary nerve ends to start with “Whenever I collapse/whenever I feel trapped, held by the inescapable…”? It works for Queen Deb because she sighs it so icily, so strainlessly, with so much I-breathe-therefore-you-faint acumen. The Stein/Harry production is understated and exemplary. There are angels between the lines: when they did this song at The Borderline you could hear pins stacked with them dropping.
“Brite Side” is a prayer of a different wingspan. “Whenever I’m in bed, I see myself in wide-screen love scenes…” Anyone who doesn’t feel the need to loll in this tide of allure has the aesthetics of an ostrich. To the inferno with you all; this has put as extra three minutes and 45 seconds of shivery sunshine in my soul.

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