With the reissue rights to Terry Hall’s 1994 solo debut Home being discussed, Demon go straight to his 1997 follow-up, currently his only other solo release. Like on Home, Hall plays it straight.

Terry Hall

Co-writers including Stephen Duffy, Sean O’Hagan and The Smiths’ Craig Gannon offer melancholic pop that fits in with Laugh’s finale, a seemingly unambiguous cover of Todd Rundgren’s I Saw The Light.

Damon Albarn co-writes the standouts, with For The Girl an epic ballad worthy of To The End while A Room Full Of Nothing presages The Good, The Bad And The Queen perfectly, only with a more sombre singer. A couple of songs (Misty Water, the plodding Happy Go Lucky) are dreary Britpop-by-numbers.

Mostly, it’s another reason to be thankful for The Specials’ recent success in throwing fresh light on an unfairly forgotten corner of Hall’s restless vision.

7/10

John Earls

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