Picks and Pans Review: Feargal Sharkey

updated 03/31/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/31/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

Feargal Sharkey

Shades of the Emperor's new clothes. Celebrated English musicians from such groups as Yaz, Madness and Queen have been lining up to work with Sharkey, a 27-year-old Irish-born singer, since he left the Undertones in 1983. His first solo album, produced by the Eurythmics' Dave Stewart, created a buzz of anticipation. This record though suggests that the British have some inscrutable criteria for judging talent. Sharkey's voice is thin and he goes to great lengths, whispering at times and laying on the tremolo in glutinous gobs, to produce a vulnerable sound. Every time he stretches for one of those notes he is unaccountably fond of, some bossy voice should call out, "Get down offa there, Feargal; you'll break your larynx." Stewart, who produced for Sharkey again, tries too hard to lend some substance. His overbaked production and Feargal's singing are most affected on covers of Chrissie Hynde's Made to Measure and Bobby Womack's It's All Over Now. In this case listeners have nothing to fear but Fear himself. (Virgin A & M)

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