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CRY NO MORE - REVIEWS

See also Roy Hill Reviews page

Cry No More: Temptation
  • Yielding to the Temptation of Cry No More - Review by Lindsay Sorrell
  • Cry No More: Live In Germany
  • Can't Get This Song Out Of My Head - Review by Pete Bradley
  • Handily, Cynical And Fully Of Black Humor - Review by Lindsay Sorrell
  • Back to main Cry No More page.

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    CRY NO MORE: TEMPTATION
    YIELDING TO THE TEMPTATION OF CRY NO MORE - Review by Lindsay Sorrell

    Tempatation cover shot

    After several days of playing my new Cry no More CD "Temptation" as often as time has permitted, I feel ready to comment. On my very first hearing I wasn't sure the songs were as strong and memorable as many of the CnM songs I have been enjoying for around 25 years (my first ever CD was Cry no More's "Love and Power", which necessitated me buying something to play it on) and over the years I have got my hands on everything they've released.

    "Get on with it."

    Ok. I was wrong, so terribly, terribly wrong. Now, after probably a couple of dozen plays, the majority of the songs on "Temptation" (fifteen, yes, FIFTEEN of them) are embedded firmly in my brain with endless catchy choruses, marvellous melodies, lunging lyrics and heartwarming harmonies. How Roy and Chas manage to come up with song after song containing such great hooks I really can't comprehend but they catch me every time. Cry no More songs frequently tell stories, often everyday stories of scenarios easy to identify with, and somehow they manage to capture the feelings and emotions we all suffer and enjoy. Pain and pleasure. Chas and Roy (but not necessarily in that order). I love the way their songs often initially sound incredibly jaunty, happy little numbers but underneath there is frequently a more sinister current running deep.

    Within this album there are numerous tales of relationships turned sour, unrequited and unreturned love, and of course, being CnM, a smattering of s*xual deviance. It's difficult to pick out favourites, but a couple which are running through my head the most at the moment are "It's Only Love That Matters" - some great lines in there - and "Night of the Long Knives" - highly dramatic, an extremely interesting song in a lot of ways, not least in the way it reminds me of the array of sights in a Prague sex museum I once walked straight past. (I just imagined the array of sights, of course.) Then of course there's "For All I Know", another favourite. And "If It Don't Hurt" and "Dear Mystical Man". The titles will mean not a lot to you if you haven't heard the album, but to me they're already old friends after less than a week.

    You can lead yourself into Temptation by visiting Cry no More's Myspace at http://www.myspace.com/crynomoremusic where the title track is currently gracing their Myspace player. You can also buy the album, or other Cry no More offerings from the Myspace too - scroll down the page and you'll find an email link. Also, anyone reading this before 5th March 2010 who would like the chance to experience Cry no More in fleshly form will find details about their forthcoming final annual appearance on the Myspace. You have been warned.

    The visual imagery created by CnM using everyday language to describe common situations, in pop song format, is very powerful and this collection is right up there with the best of their bunch. Both Roy and Chas sound in terrific voice throughout and they are accompanied by a plethora of interesting instrumentation. I'm afraid I'm still pondering the CD sleeve though...two bare trees in a green field which look as though they have been struck by lightning.....hmm...temptation? Anyone fancy an apple maybe? I give up!!

    CRY NO MORE: LIVE IN GERMANY
    CAN'T GET THIS SONG OUT OF MY HEAD - Review by Pete Bradley

    Live In Germany cover shot

    When Roy Hill and Chas Cronk released their first single as a duo they realised that the design of the sleeve only included the title of the song, "Cry No More", and had omitted their names, so they decided to name themselves Cry No More.

    All the Cry No More albums have recently been re-released on the Deepdene label. Prior to that, each CD you bought was hand printed by Roy, with the title hand written on the CD in Roy's inimitable script. Every disc was unique, so in a way, it's a bit of a shame that the albums now look professional. In addition to the re-releases, two new albums have been unleashed: "Live in Germany", and "Temptation" (a studio album, recorded back in the eighties, and then subsequently overlooked until now).

    "Live in Germany" is their fourth live album, the others being "Live at the Mulberry Tree", "Live at the Cry No More Social Club" and "Brown Paper Bag". Unlike the others, all of the songs on "Live in Germany" appear on other albums, but don't let that put you off. Indeed, if you don't yet own any of their albums, this would be a good first one to add to your collection, as it is almost their 'greatest hits'.

    It was recorded during a tour of Germany in 1990, when Cry No More were supporting Marillion. The duo were exceptionally well received by the Marillion fans, and in fact, if you attend a Cry No More concert even today, there is a very strong probability that there will be people in the audience who will have made a pilgrimage from Germany specifically to see them again as a direct result of this tour.

    This is the only album in which you'll find my top two all time favourite Cry No More tracks, "Landslide" and "I Love Roxy" together, so I heartily recommend it. In addition, although "Nevada" appears on their "Social Club" album, I found this version magical, and can't get the song out of my head now. Like many of their songs, it paints a picture, telling part of a story and leaving you to fill in the rest. "Nevada" is sung as if by a young man, fleeing with his pregnant girlfriend from some unnamed trouble. He is offering words of encouragement: everything will be alright once they reach the sanctuary of Nevada, but you know, and you know that he knows, that the trouble will find them. Why Nevada? Perhaps because the word is quasi-homophonic with that other Utopia, Nirvana, (Sorry, Roy. I said 'homophonic', with an N). or perhaps it is because of the slightly laxer laws in Arizona, leading me to wonder whether this is actually a song about childhood desires to break free from parental rules and attain the goal of adulthood. Either way, a wonderful version of a wonderful song.

    Many Cry No More tracks involve audience participation. In the UK, over the years CNM have built up a strong following of die-hard fans, (referred to as the 'Mulberry Tree choir') who know the songs intimately, so it is fascinating to hear the songs played to an audience who are new to the material. In songs like "First Kiss" and "I Love Roxy" the audience parts are taken by the band.

    Roy is a complete showman, and delights in teasing both the audience and Chas. He is always attempting to throw the unflappable Chas from his stride by last minute alterations to the set list or unexpected key changes. On this album, this is evidenced by the final track "Hit The Big Drum". The song comes to a suitable end, but Roy carries on, then stops in mid sentence and waits just that little big too long before a final crescendo. The audience went wild with appreciation, but you can sense their panic (along with Chas's and the roadies) moments before when they were all unsure as to whether the song had ended.

    CRY NO MORE: LIVE IN GERMANY
    HANDILY, CYNICAL AND FULLY OF BLACK HUMOR - Review by Lindsay Sorrell

    Live In Germany cover shot

    Unfortunately I have been rather busy lately with this, that and the other and the Easter weekend has given me my first real opportunity to write a few words about the recently released aural masterpiece known as "Cry No More Live in Germany". I have just had an "Easter Sunday" bubble-bath (it's that time of year again) and am able to state that this album is of a perfect length for a relaxing soak, popping all the bubbles and a slowly-eaten Cadxxxy's cream egg.

    Not only that, but the album is hugely invigorating, bouncy and feel-good inducing. As a long-term fan of Roy Hill and Chas Cronk (aka CNM) I confess I was more interested in getting hold of "Temptation", also recently released, and consisting of entirely new material. (I am, of course, over-the-moon that such a collection of great songs finally emerged from the cobwebby cellars in the bowels of the earth beneath Roy's floorboards, where they had almost certainly lain unceremoniously surrounded by broken vacuum cleaners, seemingly for all eternity.) However, at this current moment I am inspired to write about "Live in Germany", which is again playing as I type this. The sound quality is excellent and it is fascinating to hear the Ludwigshafen crowd, who had probably expected to "suffer" a support band as they waited for their heroes, headliners Marillion. The crowd's pain quite obviously turned to pleasure, however, as CNM are accompanied by loud cheering and singing-along-with, and this CD provides lasting evidence of a German crowd very much entering into the CNM spirit. Quite a remarkable feat given the importance of lyrical meaning in CNM's songs (not to mention CNM humour) and a language barrier, although Roy does begin with what sounds to me like a very creditable "Guten abend meine Damen und Herren". Unfortunately I don't actually speak German but the crowd seemed to like it so I'll assume that's what he said.

    The whole sense of a terrifically buoyant atmosphere and CNM's exuberance and enthusiasm is what draws me back to keep listening, despite my already knowing everything on the album. There are some stunningly good versions of several CNM classics; totally pointless me trying to describe them in words as it is all about the "live" atmosphere in what was obviously a very large venue with a crowd of CNM virgins (as opposed to other live recorded CNM offerings, in the more familiar (for most of us) Twickenham surroundings playing to a crowd of CNM groupies. Personal favourites on this album, I suppose, would be "Nevada", "Caveman Rock", "Oh Sharon!"" (CNM's one-and-only hit record in Germany, several years before this recording), and "Hit the Big Drum", which I adore.

    "Live in Germany" comes adorned with a few decorative photos in shades of black, white and grey of the mighty duo and the full track-listing. The dates of the CNM German tour supporting Marillion from which this recording hails are also given, together with what is presumably a copy of the poster or flyer advertising CNM in Germany. It is written in German and, as I explained, I know virtually no German. My trusty toolbar translator tells me it means:

    "Pop out Twickenham. Handily, cynical and fully of black humor. Anschliebend: Time tunnel". I couldn't agree more.

    To find out more about Cry No More and to buy this, or indeed any other Cry No More albums `tis best to visit http://www.myspace.com/crynomoremusic.

    Back to main Cry No More page.

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