Album review: Kim Mitchell, Aural Fixations (1992)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 11, 1992

By Steve Newton

There are two things Canadians can count on when summer approaches: one is an increase in the price of beer, and the other is a new Kim Mitchell release. The first of these is obviously the Devil’s work, but the second makes that evil a helluva lot easier to take.

Two years ago, Mitchell struck party-time gold with “I Am a Wild Party”, which joined “Lager and Ale”, “Go for Soda”, and “Rock ’N Roll Duty” in my personal Canuck-rock hall of fame. Now Toronto’s clown prince of guitar-rock has done it again with “Hullabaloo”, just one of a number of hook-filled tunes on Aural Fixations, but the only one that is causing serious wear to my car deck’s rewind mechanism.

While Mitchell surely is this country’s best boogier—and has been since the first Max Webster album—his skill with the slower, pretty tunes is also evident on tracks like the delicious “Pure as Gold” and silky “Dreamer”. Mitchell has managed to win back bassist Spider Sinneave and primo backing vocalist Peter Fredette from the Tom Cochrane touring tribe, and, with the added expertise of Vancouver’s John Webster on keys and co-production, delivers damn near one hour’s worth of infectious ear candy.

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