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RECORD RACK

* * * * Great Balls of Fire * * * Good Vibrations * * Maybe Baby * Running on Empty : : POP CICLES

October 25, 1987|STEVE HOCHMAN

* * 1/2 THE ICICLE WORKS. "If You Want to Defeat Your Enemy Sing His Song." RCA/Beggar's Banquet. Of all the groups to come out of the early-'80s Liverpool post-punk scene (notably Echo & the Bunnymen), this trio has remained the most unaffected by fashion--a winning trait that emerges particularly in its energetic, unflashy concerts. Unfortunately, on this album--the group's first American release since its 1984 debut album--producer Ian Broudie dresses some pretty good songs in just a bit to much modern gloss. Still, such songs as the wistful "Evangeline" and especially the Springsteenian rocker "Understanding Jane" are delights, though when singer/guitarist Ian McNabb takes on such ponderous material as "Sweet Thursday," he has an annoying tendency to sound like Englebert Humperdinck at his overblown Vegas worst.

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