Picks and Pans Review: Bruce Woolley & the Camera Club

updated 04/07/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 04/07/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

Bruce Woolley

Amid the bluster of most first albums, this Englishman's debut stands apart for interest, polish and skill. The sound is crisp, and the influences are eclectic: Woolley's singing in English Garden, for instance, is not unlike David Byrne's of Talking Heads. As a writer, Woolley's Flying Man updates the ebullience of the Dave Clark Five's Glad All Over, You Got Class has an edgy Joe Jackson feel; the potent No Surrender owes a debt to David Bowie, and the haunting Goodbye to Yesterday shows a clear understanding of Otis Redding. What saves the LP from being a display case of stolen jewels are Woolley's fetching melodies (particularly his choruses), varied and persuasive rhythms and the band's keen sense of drama and detail. Keyboardist Tom Dolby deploys his synthesizer with particular invention and restraint.

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