Pete Wylie Sinful
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Taking a short break from his decade-long leadership of the Wah! convolutions, Pete Wylie's debut solo album caught him placing the recent eclecticism of the mothership to one side, to concentrate instead on a dance-friendly barrage of hooks and anthems, nailed into place by (among others) producer Zeus B Held -- his recent work with fellow Liverpudlians Dead or Alive certainly informs Wylie's Sinful ambitions, but so does Wah!'s own widescreen epic "Come Back." The middle ground that those two sources settle on is as invigorating as it ought to be. The opening title track, a Top 20 hit four years before Wylie revisited it with the Farm, lays out the album's stall, a punchy singalong anthem driven by echoing drums, massed-chorale vocals, and throbbing electronics. The insistent urgency with which Wylie can relate the most mundane lyric, too, adds to the effect -- you come out of any one of the album's eight songs convinced that Wylie is wasted in a rock context. He should be conducting the Last Night of the Proms. The epic "Fourelevenfortyfour," the over-excited "Shoulder to Shoulder," and the positively triumphant "All the Love" all add immeasurably to the air of utter grandiosity that surrounds Sinful -- this is not an album for listening to quietly on your Ipod while waiting for a bus. It's one to pipe into the Super Bowl, to drown the sound of "Rock and Roll" beneath its own all-purpose stadium stomp, "We Can Rule the World." And, on this form, Wylie could have.