Robin Gibb – Walls Have Eyes [1985]

PhotobucketCountry United Kingdom         

Style AOR/Pop/Rock

Rating 86/100

Band Members Ed Calle – Horn, Phil Chen – Bass, Mitchell Froom,Duane Hitchings – Keyboards, Synthesizer, Sandy Gennaro – Drums, Barry Gibb – Vocals, Maurice Gibb – Bass, Keyboards, Piano, Synthesizer, Backing vocals, Robin Gibb – Vocals, Alto Reed – Horn, George Terry,Steve Farris- Guitar

Tracks 01. You Don’t Say Us Anymore, 02. Like A FoolM, 03. Heartbeat In Exile, 04. Remedy, 05. Toys, 06. Someone To Believe In, 07. Gone With The Wind, 08. These Walls Have Eyes, 09. Possession, 10. Do You Love Her?

Profile Although it’s not as consistently catchy and inventive as his prior outing, the hip-hop/electro-fueled Secret Agent, Walls Have Eyes is probably Bee Gee Robin Gibb’s best-loved solo album. Part of the reason may be that it sounds more than a little like the Bee Gees themselves; besides brother Maurice (who also helped out on Secret Agent), the album also features older sibling Barry as co-writer on eight of the ten songs, and as co-lead vocalist on the single “Toys,” making it almost indistinguishable from a Bee Gees offering. The production throughout, by old hand Tom Dowd and Maurice Gibb, is straight-up pop/rock (featuring Mr. Mister’s Steve Farris on guitar), with a shortage of the danceable grooves that made Secret Agent so refreshing — and sparked the Gibbs’ ’70s resurgence, for that matter. But the brothers still made a much better than average songwriting team, and tracks like “You Don’t Say Us Anymore” and the melodramatic ballad “Gone With the Wind” are tough to resist. Despite its moves toward mainstream acceptance, however, the album was even less successful commercially than its predecessor, and put an end to Robin Gibb’s second stab at a solo career.

Someone To Believe In begins the US released version in a very different style from either Secret Agent or How Old Are You. It’s darker, edgier, none of that bubblegum early 80s falsetto. This album is very `five o’clock shadow’ and I think it’s no coincidence Robin has on the cover! Like A Fool is equally brooding. These songs are slower than the rest of Robin’s solo period, but they are not slow. His voice is strong and the production is tops mid eighties form. Gone With The Wind is an incredible song that should have been a single and a major hit. Written by Robin and Maurice, the vocals, arrangements, and lyrics are all tops. Deep down I suspect this song is why I am doing this review. It needs to be heard!

Toys is a bit of a mischievous song. Eight of the 10 songs presented are written by Robin, Maurice, and Barry, including this one. Barry even shares the lead on this song. Toys and the subsequent title track, These Walls Have Eyes are actually the two songs on this album I could live without. They each have their moments, but they seem poorly arranged and out of place. That being said, I’d take these songs, the rest of the album is that strong. Do You Love Her is another one of those songs that sounds like three different people, but its all Robin. It’s quite catchy. Possession was a B side single off the album that also could have been a hit. Robin’s voice is on form and the lyrics are somewhat unique. `Possessing’ someone in a relationship is usually a negative thing, but not here. Perhaps superior to Possession is Heartbeat In Exile. The arrangement of the lyrics in this song are such a hook. The phrase ‘Heartbeat in Exile’ is never uttered in the song. The word heartbeat is said very far away from the word exile, it is in fact, exiled. Very effective.

You Don’t Say Us Anymore is very production heavy. When I hear this song, I think of one thing: Atari! If you can get passed the 80s twang, the chorus is Robin on form. Written by Robin and Maurice, this song is a bit more experimental and fun. It’s not trying to please anyone, a nice change since some feel Robin was perhaps trying to hard on his solo albums. Remedy concludes the album on a happy note. It’s perhaps the most upbeat song on the album. A strong finish.

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