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Bruce Foxton


Touch Sensitive


Cherry Red


Bruce Foxton CD coverBruce Foxton was the bassist of The Jam. Touch Sensitive came out in 1984 shortly after the breakup of The Jam. It was Bruce's first and only solo album, following a handful of singles.

The record has dense production with lots of peripheral embellishments on almost every track: enough reverb for a Wah! record, lots of backing vocalists, perky brass and layers upon layers of instrumentation. If the record was mastered with today's technology it may have worked, but the result as stands is cluttered, with an emptiness than 100 tracks of music can't fill.

The disc opens with one of the singles from the record, Freak. This track perfectly encapsulates all of the problems with the LP. Too much of everything, with not enough of the one thing that makes music great - the elusive spark of creativity.

The second song is It Makes Me Wonder, which is much more successful. You may end up liking this song as much as I after a few listens. The lyrics seem to have real emotion without being dramatic, and the music compliments the track well. If you have ever heard the post-Generation X project Empire that Derwood and Mark Laff did, It Makes Me Wonder rides on similar ground.

My Imagination (S.O.S) has reverb bass and backing vocals that may remind you of the ABC song Poison Arrow..

The current NY artist Don Lennon sings like Bruce Foxton on Whatever The Reason, though the music on Whatever The Reason sounds more like TV21 or Comsat Angels than Don Lennon.

Trying To Forget You has a decent vibes solo and some decent moments, but ultimately IS forgettable.

Bruce does covers of the Chicago track 25 or 6 to 4 and the Rare Earth track Get Ready. Both are highlights of the disc. Writings On The Wall is built on riffs that sound like the Gary Numan / Tubeway Army song Are Friends Electric.

The production of the disc has the same strange feel as Tony Visconti's production on the 1974 T Rex album Zinc Alloy and the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow. This record seems to be a case of someone tossing tons of money into the production of a record they hoped would move sizable numbers, but the fact came out that Bruce Foxton was most effective under the creative blanket of Paul Weller's genius songs, and not as a solo artist writing his own material.

---Carl, November 8, 2005