The Cry - Quick Quick Slow
After Watts split up Fischer-Z following the phenomenal European success of Red Skies over Paradise, he went solo, but never achieved the critical acclaim he deserved from his first two solo outputs. Consequently he went back and gathered together a new group of musicians (David Graham from the old Fischer-Z was the only exception) to form The Cry. Quick Quick Slow was their sole album release.
Slower and less political than Red Skies Over Paradise, it nevertheless marked a change in John Watts' musical direction once again. Watts claimed later that he felt that he needed to state his own musical vision more clearly in his work and that was the reason he struck out solo. I will always incline to the opinion that he did, like so many others, take the solo route in the hope that he could gain more success without others. But no matter how good a singer songwriter you are, in the end, I maintain, you need a musical sounding board of a band to bring out your full potential in many cases. Watts' early solo career was no exception.
If you were to listen to this album immediately after listening to its predecessor, the solo album The Iceberg Model, you would be forgiven for assuming that the driving forces behind the two albums were two entirely different people. Quick Quick Slow is a moderately tempo-ed guitar based album in a mellow alternative style whereas its predecessor was closer to art-pop, complete with horn section on many tracks and an ambient synthesiser driven title track. Then again, compare it with its immediate successor, Fischer-Z's Reveal, and I doubt you would come to much of a different conclusion.
Whether you view this shifting pattern of musical output a positive or a negative thing depends on what the eventual outputs are. Quick Quick Slow was, in many ways, the most experimental album John Watts has ever done as it takes him the furthest away from the social commentary which has been the bedrock of his style. That was a brave move, and one which needed the relative anonymity of a completely new group to make it viable.
Sadly, this album was not the success which had occurred with earlier albums. Anything John Watts does is always going to be compared with Red Skies over Paradise and this album did not live up to that billing. There are some good tracks such as "No Time for Love", "Need You" and "Before the Boat Goes Down". In the end it emerges as something of an overall disappointment. Perhaps my expectations were too high but I always feel he could have done better. John Watts is at his best when he is commenting on life around him. This was a departure from that theme. The band split up shortly afterwards and Watts reformed Fischer-Z with a completely new line up and musical direction.
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on 2011-06-11 CharlesMartel Said:
John Watts' second band after a brief interlude for a couple of solo albums. Some good songs and an overall mellower feel.