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Title: Blast
Author: Chris Heath
Source: Smash Hits

HOLLY JOHNSON

Blast

MCA MCG 6042 LP/Cass/CD

If Blast has a single theme it’s Holly’s insistent optimism, his unusual faith in the human imagination and people’s ability to be happy, and he’s still got the exuberant Jackanory-storyteller delivery that makes the most cliched lines - “you bring the spring right through my door/you’re everything that’s worth living for” - sound somehow important. It’s a skill used to best effect on his two recent hits, Love Train and Americanos (the latter an ‘80s update of David Bowie’s Young Americans in both its content and its spirit, where he acknowledges the superficiality of the American dream but isn’t narrow-minded enough to simply condemn it), and on the annoyingly infectious salsa-pop of Deep In Love. If everything was that good this would be a remarkable return but most of the other songs (all written by Holly alone except for the overblown Atomic City where tunesmith for hire Dan Hartman chips in) are routine efforts, not worth the obvious effort and enthusiasm he puts into singing them. ***

Chris Heath