Sound — 8
Ah, Nick Heyward. You don't recall him? Why, he's the man who sang in the 80s New Wave outfit Haircut 100! doesn't ring a bell? Think of the hit singles 'Favorite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl' and 'Love Plus One', still nothing? Well, he had cool hair. Got it now? Good. Well, his solo debut doesn't sound too different from 'Pelican West', which is a good thing all of it's own. His quirky vocals, backed with percussion filled instrumentals make for some great tunes, the opening in particular. 'When It Started To Begin' could've been added to Pelican West. Plus, if it wasn't for the whole break-up thing. Oh well, Paint and Paint stunk anyway. The next track that follows sounds, oddly like 'Love Plus One'. Or maybe that's just the marimba. Rarity and all, North of a Miracle is one album that should be rereleased, or at least iTunes'd.
Lyrics — 7
Heyward was always one for heartfelt lyrics. 'Please, my girl, release the story of love' and 'I was so sensitive' show the romantic, sissy side of the singer-songwriter, while the Cyndi Lauper-esque guitar lines makes up for the lyrics that recall a middle school romance. Because we know that gathering sticks on sunday makes him forget all of his troubles, Nick Heyward obviously doesn't have the poetic lyrics of, say, Simon Le Bon. But the music's still pop-tastic and reminiscent of Haircut 100's '80s popsterpiece.
Overall Impression — 8
It sounds rather like The Beatles if they were to do New Wave music, and not sound like The Beatles, if that made any sense. The album isn't bad at all, it's just the fact that Nick Heyward isn't a poet at heart that makes some of the songs the perfect soundtrack to a rainy day, or maybe that's the reverb. All joking aside, 'North of a Miracle' is filled with tracks that sound like Pelican West, but aren't. It's still rather catchy pop music, though. I would definitely buy it again, but it is rather hard to find. His other solo efforts didn't come close to this one, so I can't reccomend anything other than Haircut 100's 'Pelican West', which has been mentioned at least a dozen times before. If you ever find this album at a thrift shop, I'd reccomend you pick it up and give it a listen. Because I know that you still put on 'Rio' every once in a while. Admit it.