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Platinum Blonde: Alien Shores

Album Notes

This album marked Platinum Blonde's commercial peak, and in retrospect you can only wonder why it failed to spread the band's massive Canadian success to America. Beyond the MTV-perfect hairdos, the quartet offered a savvy musical blend that suggested crossing Duran Duran with Def Leppard -- just the sort of thing you'd figure would have gone over huge in the heartland. It didn't, but Platinum Blonde had perfected the formula anyway on the single "Crying Over You," adding squalling guitar from Rush's Alex Lifeson to the polished dance groove. Close behind were the muscular metallic funk of "Red Light" and "Animal," while the keyboard-laced melodies of "Somebody Somewhere" and "Hungry Eyes" made those songs obvious hits to everyone -- except U.S. listeners. Sometimes the band ventured a little too close to Simon LeBon and co., especially on "Lost in Space," which sounded like an outtake from Duran Duran. And given that singer Mark Holmes' occasional vocal excesses mirrored LeBon's, it wasn't always a flattering comparison. But ultimately, that's a small quarrel with an album that rolled most of what was fun, colorful, and catchy about '80s music into one still-impressive package. ~ Dan LeRoy


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