By the time Sidewalk was released, Icehouse were down to two of the original members, Iva Davies and John Lloyd. In fact, I wonder how much input Lloyd had into this album as the majority of the drumming is via the agency of a machine and not human. Either way, it’s the last album he did with Icehouse.

Iva Davies discovered the Fairlight CMI for this record and as such, keyboards take front and centre. Par for the course for the era. The guitars on most of the tracks sound processed or “tunnelled”. Listen to Taking This Town for example.

Critics hated this album and you can see why. It is a mess. Side One is a totally different kettle of fish to Side Two, which was also par for the course for this era. Side One contains four very fine tracks in This Time (album highlight), Someone Like You, Stay Close Tonight and Don’t Believe Anymore. All great tracks that stand up after thirty years. Side Two is a dreary affair in contrast, with the last two tracks originating from a film score Davies did. Both of them, jittery, scratchy things, sound tacked on to the album. The only high point would be Dusty Pages (which had a wonderfully miserable video).

An uneven mess. And the drum machine/programming gives the whole thing an artificial feel. Very much a dated album.

sidewalk