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Pop - Released January 1, 1991 | Virgin EMI

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
By the time High on the Happy Side was released, Wet Wet Wet had realized that their true strength lay in making soul-pop ballads. As a result, this album is more a return to their soul roots than an extension of the pop of Holding Back the River. This is not a perfect album by any means. The songwriting is flimsy, even by Wet Wet Wet's standards, and there are a number of tracks here that descend too far into syrupy ballad territory (especially the most successful single from the disc, "Goodnight Girl"). However, there are a number of surprises here. More than on previous outings, the band has let vocal harmonies come to the fore with great effect, although there is still no doubt that Marti Pellow's voice is the main focus. The other notable change here is that the synthesizers that were an integral part of their sound have largely been replaced, even to the point of the inclusion of acoustic songs. Again, this is a successful step forward for the band. There are fewer "rock" tracks here, with the band preferring to stick to the slow-paced pop of "Put the Light On" and "Make It Tonight." While this will undoubtedly make the album palatable to fewer listeners, there is still enough variation to show that, amazingly, a band like Wet Wet Wet can actually make their sound evolve. One of their better and more interesting albums. © Jonathan Lewis /TiVo

Pop - Released January 1, 1987 | Virgin EMI

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
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The new blue-eyed soul band with a sophisticated sound and two hit singles already under their belts released their debut album, Popped in Souled Out, in the autumn of 1987. All tracks were composed jointly by the bandmembers Graeme Clark, Tommy Cunningham, Neil Mitchell, and Marti Pellow except the James Taylor song "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight." Most of the songs were midtempo including the debut single and album opener, "Wishing I Was Lucky" as well as the two follow-up singles, "Sweet Little Mystery" and "Angel Eyes." The fourth single, "Temptation," was a ballad in the style of Spandau Ballet's "Through the Barricades" and was the least successful of the tracks released as singles. Many of the songs, despite being filled with horns and strings reminiscent of Phil Collins' No Jacket Required era, lacked a distinctive melody, including most of the tracks not released as singles. Thus the album appeared crammed with rather too much filler, although Marti Pellow carried even a tuneless song with his lush soulful voice. Popped in Souled Out hit number two in the charts on its first week, eventually climbing to the very top at the beginning of 1988 and spending the whole of the first half of that year inside the Top Ten. During this run, they released a non-album track, "With a Little Help from My Friends," for the Childline charity, which became the band's first number one single. The album concluded with a live version of their first hit, "Wishing I Was Lucky," which was almost identical to the studio version. © Sharon Mawer /TiVo