Album review: James Reyne, Any Day Above Ground (1991)

 

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 9, 1992

By Steve Newton

James Reyne’s previous solo album, 1988’s self-titled effort, was one of the strongest mainstream rock albums of that year, and the former leader of the Australian Crawl has followed up with another catchy batch of tunes that showcase his smart songwriting and one-of-a-kind voice.

An inventive singer who capitalizes on unusual vocal dynamics and twists, Reyne’s words are sometimes hard to decipher, but Any Day Above Ground includes a lyric sheet, so no worries there, mate.

With a band that includes primo drummer Kenny Aronoff from John Mellencamp’s group, Reyne shines brightest on a stirring version of John Hiatt’s “Stood Up” (a superbly crafted ballad about resiliency in the face of lost love) and the self-penned title track, which—to borrow an oft-used movie critic’s blurb—could be “the feel-good hit of the year”.

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