Fore!

Huey Lewis & The News

Chrysalis Records, 1986

http://www.hueylewisandthenews.com

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/24/1998

After the phenomenal success that Huey Lewis And The News had with their third album Sports, one would have expected the band to pull out all the stops for their followup release.

Ah, but following up a blockbuster album has sent more than one pop artist spinning out of control - even Michael Jackson couldn't live up to the post- Thriller hype. So, in a sense, it shouldn't be that surprising that Fore! is not a strong album in the shadow of Sports.

Lewis and crew do stick to the same formula that had brought the band success to this point - for that matter, they hardly changed their style at all from their start. A mixture of rock, doo-wop and a capella, the band tries to recapture the magic that brought them worldwide accalim.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Admittedly, if you look at the singles charts, Fore! is hardly a failure. Four songs provided the band with significant radio play, including "Stuck With You" and "Hip To Be Square". The problem is that not only were Lewis and the band believing their own press releases, but they weren't putting as much into the music as they should have been.

Compared to Sports, the songwriting on Fore! is weak. "Jacob's Ladder" is an attempt to be a little more cerebral, but for a band like this, cerebral probably wasn't such a great idea. "Doing It All For My Baby," another radio hit, pales in comparison to earlier numbers like "If This Is It" - this comes off as a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy... the more you copy it, the less the quality.

Admittedly, "Stuck With You" is a song that locks itself into your brain, and becomes catchy after a few listens. Unfortunately, this could well be the best song on Fore! - a shame, seeing the potential that this band showed just one album prior.

The whole second side of Fore! is pure filler, and doesn't stand out as anything special. Songs like "I Know What I Like" and "Forest For The Trees" don't impress; there's a reason that no singles were culled from this portion of the record.

So what happened? Part of the problem is that people most likely expected something spectacular coming off of Sports, and this album just didn't fill the void. Also, it almost seems like Fore! was a rushed effort, never mind the fact it came out three years after Sports. Had Lewis and crew spent a little more time tightening up the songwriting, and had they been a little more cautious with what they selected to include on the album, this could have been a worthy follow-up.

Fore! is a disappointment from which Lewis and The News never fully recovered - a shame, seeing that their rise and downfall was so sudden. If you must own this for the hits, then pick up one of the greatest hits compilations.

Rating: C-

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© 1998 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Chrysalis Records, and is used for informational purposes only.