Well, well, the band’s second effort is as far removed from their first musically and stylistically as Rush’s debut was from their 1985 release Power Windows. OK, here come the adjectives: lush, expansive, dreamy, orchestral, resounding, echoing, elusive, The Blurred Crusade benefits from a big production from Bob Clearmountain, and also benefits from a cohesive thematic structure.

This album has a much more solid and defined feel to it than its predecessor. The album starts off with the archetypal Almost With You, complete with Spanish guitar solo and fleeting lyrical quality.

Personally I don’t much care for this song. It seems a shame that the songs that made it for The Church seem to be their worst, but then again – that’s me. When You Were Mine is a straight ahead rocker, more polished than the pseudo-grind of any similar song on Of Skins and Heart, Fields of Mars is a glorious song. Slow, thunderous, cavernous and entirely melodious, Marty Willson-Piper gets to warble his vocal cords here on this one.

An Interlude starts out exactly that, then develops nicely into an over the mountains and far away dream rocker; Secret Corners is short and sweet, but full of uplifting hooks and twirls.

Just For You is the second best song on the album, a full blown love paean, starting with Steve Kilbey practising his guitar and getting up to answer the door, the door opens and so does the music, a nice and charming touch. It truly is a simple, yet poignant mid-tempo hail to the joys of dedication.

A Fire Burns is a stratospheric rocker with booming drums and chiming guitars, To Be In Your Eyes is a quiet and laid back tune; strums along blissfully but never to the point of becoming elevator music.

You Took is an epic, a near-9 minute long exercise in call and follow musical technique, with Kilbey repeating his choruses a la Morrissey. The guitars soar somewhere near the ionosphere in this one too. Don’t Look Back is the album closer, and like Secret Corners, it is brief, with a sort of wobbly beat to it. Not a bad way to close what is a great and magnanimous disk.

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