Album Review

Though not a bad debut album by any means, Everyone Loves the Pilot tries a little too hard to cover up producer-turned-singer Jon Astley's apparently limited vocal range with a surfeit of Fairlight synths, screaming guitar solos, and oversung backup vocals. This is odd, because when the album's producers pull back a little bit on tracks like "Jumping in the Deep End," Astley's singing style is actually revealed to be something of a cross between Let's Dance-era David Bowie and Hugh Cornwell; not that of a classic crooner, certainly, but definitely charismatic enough to keep listeners' interest (even if "Jumping" is far from the best example of songwriting on the LP). In the end, however, only one song reins in the production gloss enough to allow Astley to score with a truly memorable piece of work: the offbeat and funny afraid-of-commitment anthem "Jane's Getting Serious." Released as Everyone Loves the Pilot's lead single, "Jane's Getting Serious" hit an inconspicuous number 77 on the U.S. pop charts in 1987, but years later the song is still almost instantly recognizable -- probably because it was the source of the quirky stop-start bass/drums/synth riff heard in a series of heavily played Heinz ketchup commercials in the late '80s. Unfortunately, it's also easily the best song on this otherwise mostly forgettable (albeit competently written) debut release, and after one more album (1988's The Compleat Angler), Astley left singing to return to a more successful full-time production career.
Rudyard Kennedy, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Jane's Getting Serious
  2. Lipservice
  3. Target Practise
  4. Suffering Fools
  5. The Animal
  6. Jumping in the Deep End
  7. Better Never Than Late
  8. I Want to Dance
  9. Disclaimer
  10. The Emperor