Picks and Pans Review: Boy in the Box
Hart, 23, had his debut last year with First Offense. The album contained a made-for-Top-10, pop-rock hit, Sunglasses at Night, in which he hammered away at the song's catchy refrain. Hart's second album confirms that this Montrealer is more singular as a singer than as a songwriter. Besides varying wildly in modulation, his voice acts as a slurry, vowel-seeking engine: Consonants are banished entirely from the ends of words. Hart's baby-talk phrasing works all right on songs with a warm emotional climate, such as this LP's single, Never Surrender. And he can turn up the intensity, as he does on Eurasian Eyes and Waiting for You. Many of these pop tunes have a faint reggae accent and utilize reverb on the guitars' buoyant and slashing chords, but this album, which was co-produced by Hart with Phil Chapman and Jon Astley, has a harder tone than Hart's first. Fans beware. (EMI)
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