Gone Troppo (1982)


 
1. Wake Up My Love 2. That's the Way it Goes 3. I Really Love You 4. Greece 5. Gone Troppo 6. Mystical One 7. Unknown Delight 8. Baby Don't Run Away 9. Dream Away 10.Circles

 

So I made up my mind before I ever even listened to this album that I wasn't going to like it. I mean, how could I? First off, George Harrison wasn't exactly making headlines for putting out anything stellar since the very beginning of his solo career over ten years ago. Then there was the fact that this album didn't even crack the top 100 and no singles broke the top forty. I was a pretty serious listener of music back in the early eighties, and I have no recollection of this album ever even coming out at all. Then, of course, all the critics hated it. So I figured I'd give it a few listens out of curiosity, and then go ahead and write a scathing review of this album that was never on many people's radar. And then something strange happened. Each time I listened to this album. I enjoyed it. I ended up really enjoying it.

Upon first glancing at the cover of this album, and the title, you may think George is out to rip off some nuances from a Jimmy Buffett or something. Let's face it, that would be weird. The only thing that sounds remotely "tropical" is the title track, and I confess that it's my favorite on the album. It's got such a catchy riff that I can't possibly understand why it isn't more known and respected than it is (which is basically non-existent). The other song that I can't figure out it wasn't a hit (and it was released as a single) is the lead off, synth-heavy, song Wake Up My Love. The whole album seems to be synthesizer-keyboard heavy, yet there's absolutely nothing "early 80's" about the album. George has managed to use these instruments in a way to enhance his voice and his guitar work, which is fine form.

Other highlights are the obligatory religious Mystical One that shows us that Harrison is still true to his beliefs, and the tune is a welcome addition no matter what your beliefs may be, and the (semi) instrumental Greece that shows us that George really is a truly gifted musician, that sometimes can let his nasally voice be a bit of a distraction. There's only one track on the whole album that doesn't do much for me, and that would me I Really Love You that is one of Harrison's attempts to be "funny". It sounds like he's doing an Elvis impersonation throughout the song (at least I think that's him singing) that just sounds corny.

It was said that no one bought it, or much less even heard it. Maybe this was why George started to release fewer and fewer albums during this phase in his career? The one thing you do have to admire about the guy, regardless of the quality of his music, is that he seemed to truly find happiness after the ordeal of The Beatles. Such as the case here. Give this one a listen, and ignore what the critics tell you what you should think.

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