Jul

17

By Bash

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Beautiful Friction – new music by The Fixx

–originally posted in the iTunes store–

Although folks are calling this terrific set of tunes a comeback or reunion, The Fixx never went away. Except for a brief inactive period in the early 90s, the band has been touring, recording and releasing new music, joined first by bassist Chris Tate and then by Gary Tibbs (bassist for Roxy Music, Adam & The Ants.) New music and a revisualization of some of their 80s tunes (the astounding “1011 Woodland”) appeared from the mid-90s to early 2000s as The Fixx toured the US fairly consistently.

In the last decade, the band continued to tour and create new music, taking a few new songs on the road now and again – but none of those songs are on this disc. (Some of them – “Remember Me When I’m Gone,” “Falling Apart Together,” and “The Other Side of the Story” appeared on Cy Curnin’s solo discs. The mesmerizing “Everyone Believes” lives on in my head.)

In 2007, something magical happened: Dan K. Brown, that nearly-motionless, hat-wearing bass wizard you all remember from MTV, rejoined The Fixx after resolving some health issues. The creativity grew and touring continued – the band sometimes shared working song titles via social media and worked together as often as they could to finish recording. (They are family men and live in two different countries, so this took some time.) I don’t think all those songs made this disc, either. They just kept finding new ideas to explore.

I’m still absorbing this new disc, enjoying the signature “Fixx” sound while marveling at new and different textures added in. Not a rehash of the past, this is an older, wiser, yet still energized Fixx. The themes are familiar – social/political consciousness, personal responsibility, spiritual evolution, etc. – but the point of view is enriched by experience. The result is a good dash of hope mixed into the observation that things aren’t going well and we may have really wrecked it for future generations. There’s beauty, edginess, a bit of anger, some whimsy and lots of passion in these songs. I’d say this album was well worth the wait.

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