Vegas 20: Reviews

Here we present reviews of the Vegas album and singles, alas alack, we can only find this one at the moment!

Andy Gill's Review From The Independent

Vegas – Vegas (RCA 74321110442)

EVER since Blind Faith, pally star collaborations have rightly been regarded with some suspicion; this one-off combination of Dave Stewart and Terry Hall, however, is, actually pretty decent, perhaps because it was done as a work project rather than as an extension of friendship. It’s a fortuitous dovetailing of Stewart’s musical mise-en-scene and Hall’s droll pop musings, the ex-Eurythmic buffing a sheen of hope on to the ex-Special’s lugubrious lyrics.


The pair don’t build the sonic cathedrals of the Stewart / Lennox partnership; these are more modest, less emotionally dramatic, but more interestingly detailed edifices. There’s less fluff here than on a typical Eurythmics album too, with only the cover of the turgid Euro-ballad ‘She’ stretching one’s patience.


Working with Hall has clearly brought out the white rasta in Stewart, the bulk of these tracks built upon the reggae offbeat, from the tight skank of ‘Take Me for What I Am’ to the Depeche Mode-style electro-pop of ‘The Thought of You’ and the dub-pop of ‘Nothing Alas Alack’. The album’s highlight, though, is ‘Walk into the Wind’, a gentle Caribbean pop mood with a well- crafted love lyric and a chorus that adds an extra layer of harmony counterpoint each time round, building to a euphoric finale. It’s quite exquisite, rather like what the Pet Shop Boys might do if they were as sentimental as P M Dawn.


Lyrically, Hall’s on top form for most of the album. His dry, Keaton-esque way with a deadpan observation enables him to thread a line like ‘I even like myself again’ into the album’s most positive song, whilst retaining the nerve to write a couplet as dumb as ‘Sometimes she gets wriggly / Sometimes she lies still’. That takes a special kind of talent, and a fair amount of gall, too.