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Cherry Pop

Title - 'Get Even: Expanded' (Cherry Red)
Artist - Brother Beyond

This new version of Get Even has been digitally remastered and is a highly-anticipated Expanded Edition of the British boyband's 1988 debut album. Inclusive now of four bonus tracks this is truly the best that it get get for this album - and for their fans also.

Indeed, the album was originally released in October of that year and peaked at #9 in the UK album charts. The album includes production and remix work by Don Was, Stock Aitken & Waterman, Phil Harding and Ian Curnow, Richard James Burgess and Michael Brauer.

This still-wonderful-to-hear album kicks-off with the bouncy pop fun of hit single ‘He Ain’t No Competition’ (which is still so delightful to hear after all these years) and backs it up with the slide funk, musical cut ‘n paste of ‘Can You Keep A Secret.’ ‘Chain-gang Smile’ is a slower, kinda spoken-word act of storytelling but still manages to become a dance floor track. Whereas the album slows right down for the ballad ‘Restless,’ before the next track ‘How Many Times’ picks the pace right back up.

And if you had the original vinyl album, much as I still do (good or bad to admit, I don’t know!) Side One ends there and Side Two begins with the power balladesque ‘Be My Twin.’ Next up is another of their HUGE hits from the day, ‘The Harder I Try.’ For my money the bounce and flow of this song makes it, quite easily the best track on the album. Indeed, I think it’s the best example of Nathan Moore‘s vocal tones. The hazy daze of ‘I Should Have Lied’ is next and is backed by both ‘Shipwrecked’ and the piano ballad ‘King Of Blue.’

The original vinyl album now finished, we now begin the bonus goodies. First up is an extended, and highly funky version of ‘Act for Love’ and that is followed up by the laid back styling of ‘Sometimes Good. Sometimes Bad (Sometimes Better).’

Man, if this album still doesn’t put a smile on your face or have you foot tappin’ or even has you singing along than you were simply not a fan of the UK pop sounds of the 80’s, sorry! Anyway, this brand new expanded version then goes on to bring us the guitar-infused ‘I Should Have Lied - Extended Version’ (6:34), a wickedly brilliant ‘The Harder I Try - The Hardest Mix’ (7:09) - complete with a drum loop and extra trumpets - and ends with both ‘He Ain’t No Competition - Space Hooper Mix’ (7.01) - which sounds like a lot of stuff Coldcut used to do - and then finally ‘Be My Twin - US Extended Remix’ (7:11) which goes on, sadly, waaaaay too long for its own good!

Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk

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