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Title: Dreams that money can’t buy
Author: Steve Malins

HOLLY JOHNSON
Dreams That Money Can’t Buy
(MCA)

The title’s correct. Money can’t buy the dreams of a Bolan, Warhol and July Garland fixated scally who managed to escape the humdrum only through a gently wicked mixture of camp glamour, pervy promo-vids and orgasmic howls.

Johnson’s exuberance and low humour made FGTH much more than Trevor Horn’s expensive executive toy. But as the engaging hedonist became a self-conscious aesthetic (with a growing art collection), the quirkiness was replaced by big but banal sounds, big but banal choruses and videos with plenty of big, bright colours.

Poorly executed clichés, concepts and arty namechecks are de rigueur here. William Burroughs, Jacques Brel and Warhol are cited to the end only of a “love conquers all, be free to party but don’t get wasted on drugs” disco-blast.

Occasionally this is effective, but it often lacks badly for the sleaze and titillation of ‘Relax’. Even the camp humour of ‘Across The Universe’ sounds hideously dated and forced. Sorry - but “astronauts in love” and Major Tom riding an atomic bomb? Do me a favour!

(4) Steve Malins