Chris Rea – The Road To Hell (1989): Review

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Produced by Jon Kelly and Chris Rea
Label – Atco/Magnet

By 1989 Chris Rea was one of the most popular AOR artists in the U.K, having built a strong following through a string of hit singles and a big selling greatest hits LP (1988’s “New Light Through Old Windows”). “The Road To Hell” is by far and away his most successful solo effort, with its blues tinged AOR, and Rea’s unique growling voice and skilful guitar underpinning some fine, quite often dark lyrics, which generally tell of modern decline and social malaise.

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A bleak portrait of modern Britain is painted in the biting satire of the title track, and the dark sarcasm of “That’s What They Always Say”, but the surprise is the excellently produced closer “Tell Me There’s A Heaven”. It speaks bravely and honestly on the subject of child abuse, and the effect that it has on the child. Almost totally orchestral, it changes the pace of the album completely and is a fitting conclusion to a fine album.

7/10

Track Listing
1.”The Road to Hell (Part 1)” — 4:52
2.”The Road to Hell (Part 2)” — 4:30
3.”You Must Be Evil” — 4:20
4.”Texas” — 5:09
5.”Looking for a Rainbow” — 8:00
6.”Your Warm and Tender Love” — 4:32
7.”Daytona” — 5:04
8.”That’s What They Always Say” — 4:27
9.”I Just Wanna Be with You” — 3:39
10.”Tell Me There’s a Heaven” — 6:00

The Road To Hell

That’s What They Always Say

Tell Me There’s A Heaven

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