"THE SEER." Big Country. Mercury. A short memory--or pure ignorance--can sometimes help you enjoy an album more. Take "The Seer": its chiming, bagpipe-like guitars, rolling drums, hopeful lyrics and yearning vocals are pretty charming. They might even be impressive--if you've never heard this Scottish band's 1983 debut LP. The new album seems an attempt to recapture the flavor and feeling of that first effort after a rough-road detour through unconvincing social statement on '84's "Steeltown."
Returning to the tone of that dreamy-eyed yet forceful debut wasn't a bad idea, but it would have been a better one if singer-writer-guitarist Stuart Adamson had progressed in any or all of those roles. He hasn't. When Kate Bush drops by to co-sing the title song, her dancing vocals remind you how limited Adamson's are; he seems to have only two gears--plaintive and straining.