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THE RECORD RACK

* * * * Great Balls of Fire , * * * Good Vibrations , * * Maybe Baby , * Running on Empty : BALLET PULLS UP LAME

May 03, 1987|STEVE HOCHMAN

* "THROUGH THE BARRICADES." Spandau Ballet. Epic. Through virtually every British post-punk musical phase--electro-disco, neo-R&B, blue-eyed soul--Spandau Ballet has been there, doing whatever's hot a little more lamely than most. So now as the likes of ex-Duran Duran Andy Taylor have turned to a hard-rock sound, it's only natural that this outfit gives the genre its trademark lackluster treatment.

Just what the world needs: a British Journey.

"Through the Barricades" is a bloated album of tepid rockers and contrived, melodramatic ballads, characterized by lifeless arrangements centered on Tony Hadley's round, full but characterless crooning. The only variations of the dull formula come in the rainstorm-and-acoustic-guitar introduction that opens Side 1 and "Fight For Ourselves," a neo-disco piece in the Durannie mold that begins Side 2, but both are even staler than the rest of the album.

Keep your eyes open for the next musical movement. It's a good bet Spandau Ballet will be there to eviscerate it.

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