Title - 'Fragile'
Artist - Midge Ure
Believe it or not, Fragile is the first collection of new, original music from Grammy and Brit award-winning musician
Midge Ure in over a decade.
As you listen to Fragile you instantly realize that it is a culmination of influences garnered from a lifetime in the music business. Showing
elements of Ure's musical journey displaying his accomplished guitar work (Rich Kids, Thin Lizzy) and the electronics and technology he has utilised since the late 1970's (Visage, Ultravox), Fragile is where Ure musically stands right now.
This emotionally raw new solo album begins with the delicate vocal strains of ‘I Survived,’ which comes complete with some truly beautiful orchestrations. A running theme, as it turns out for up next is ’Are We Connected,’ a track that not only is distinctly harder, but flashes you back instantly to his time in the Rage in Eden era of Ultravox. The distorted vocals, the use of ghost-like synth , it’s all there, and is backed by the flowing ‘Let It Rise.’
The more upbeat pop sounds of ‘Become’ are next and finally bring some life to the musical proceedings. As if emerging from the dark into the light, the track fairly bounces along and is a real joy to behold. The effervescent ‘Star Crossed’ provides a gentle; albeit haunting mid-tempo vibe, before the acoustic wooden guitar work of the aptly-named (and long) instrumental ‘Wire & Wood’ is brought forth.
‘Dark Dark Night’ is next and incorporates more of that old school new wave feel that Ure is so good at. That said, as we progress through the album it becomes evident that unless you are a hardened, devoted Ultravox / Midge Ure fan that you won’t get much from this superbly-sculptured album; sorry. Ure’s vocals are, for the most part, down beat, a hushed grey, with most all tracks resembling each other in structural tone.
The deep synth tones of ‘For All You Know’ propel it throughout, allowing Ure to settle comfortably into his fall back spoken-word vocals, before the album comes to a close with the piano/synth-fused instrumental ‘Bridges’ and then the title track itself; indeed arguably the best song of the entire album, the sweeping Pink Floydesque ‘Fragile.’
Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk