Stephen Cummings Returns With Love On His Mind

Read our review of “Prisoner Of Love’ from journeyman Stephen Cummings

Stephen Cummings – Photo Supplied

Prisoner of Love and Captured Emotions

By Rob Dickens

Prisoner of Love was released on 22 February 2019 on Bloodlines.

Stephen Cummings was the lead singer of The Sports, one of the most iconic and urgent bands on the Australian rock scene. Since the group went their separate ways many, many years ago, Cummings’s solo career has been quite remarkable, not just for its longevity but for the constant quality of the music he has given us.

If you skip over his live releases and compilations, Prisoner of Love is his twentieth solo release since his first in 1984 and five years since its predecessor.

The title refers to gender uncertainty. “Long ago, I worked out I was good at dealing with the perpetual confusion between the sexes, and I haven’t strayed too far from this,” Cummings says. “Basically, for every step forward there is a step backward and sideways too.”

Prisoner Of Love owes a significant debt to producer Billy Miller, who also was at the helm for two earlier Cummings albums Tickety Boo (2009) and 2012’s Reverse Psychology.

It sounds gorgeous – precise arrangements, sparkling sound and beautiful, drifting harmonies are all there to evince the centre-piece that is Cummings much-loved vocals.

The opening track “Life Moves On” has an easy, jangling feel as it opines about ever-changing circumstances, while the slow and glorious “Mr Ripley” hits you like a summer breeze. Other highlights are the empathetic “Poor Pilgrim”, “Then Comes Loves” with its resounding electric guitar and the double-barrel break-up songs “Lucy In A Black Dress” and “Don’t Break Up With Me”. But really there is not one misstep anywhere on this ten-song collection.

Prisoner of Love is compelling listening.

The producer, his son Eduardo Miller, along with the highly-respected Rebecca Barnard provide the exquisite harmonies, while Andrew Duffield, (from Models) co-wrote and plays on ‘Don’t Break Up With Me’.

Prisoner Of Love will coincide with the release of the 50-song career anthology A Life Is A Life, which gathers tracks from every Stephen Cummings solo album. Bloodlines is also re-releasing Stephen’s solo catalogue and the re-issue series will include some vinyl releases for the first time.

Prisoner of Love Track List

1. Life Moves On
2. Mr Ripley
3. Poor Pilgrim
4. One Hand Reaches For Another
5. The Wind Blew Hard
6. Then Comes Love
7. Lucy In A Black Dress
8. Shifting Heavy Circles
9. Don’t Break Up With Me
10. The World Has No Size Now

Via Mushroom Promotions

Read our review of “Prisoner Of Love’ from journeyman Stephen Cummings 

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Author: Rob Dickens

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