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I met Jimmy back in 1991 at the Famous Gay Club, 'Daisy Chain' 
in London, backstage. What a genius!


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Manage the Damage
by Billy Tweedie

Working with cowriter and coproducer Sally Herbert, Somerville has crafted a fine 
dance-pop album. There aren't any big surprises lurking within these 11 tracks, 
just a batch of tasteful arrangements and nuanced  production accompanying 
Somerville's unfaltering falsetto. "Something to Live For" opens with a pop-ballad 
intro, but soon shifts gears into an uptempo, affirmative dance track tinged with 
melancholy. The song's attitude and vibe recall '70s disco classics like 
Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive." Manage the Damage's high point is the 
masterful pop gem "This Must Be Love," in which Somerville's relaxed 
singing is propelled by a trip-hop undertow and then a swooning bridge 
blossoms into a lovely chorus that's both dreamy and irresistibly catchy. 
The disc's last tune, "Rolling," features floating strings buoyed by a hypnotic 
bass line. The accompaniment nicely supports Somerville's vocals on this 
well-chosen closer. What can I say, he was the soundtrack of my youth and it's 
great having a new album of material. The tracks range from decent to great which 
is a better average then the recent Pet Shop Boys album or anything released 
by Boy George in the last decade. But Jimmy, hook up with better mixers!
Get to New York and work with new blood! Stop being so English, would ya?! 

The superb CD includes several tracks that continue his love/talent for the 
disco/dance anthem ("Something to Live For" or "Stone", for example) and 
the bellowing of the first track ("Here I Am") is reminiscent of the best of Bronski
Beat. However, what I found best were those tracks where Somerville updates 
his sound by successfully delving into more recent styles (dabbling in trip-hop 
and techno) such as on the recriminating "Dark Sky" or especially on the melodiously 
catchy "This Must Be Love" (great single!). Other favorites are "Someday Soon" 
and "Rolling".  This is a welcome addition to Somerville's talented career.  
What I like just as much as Sommerville's voice is that this album has the sound of
something that won't grow immediately stale, and it's great finding a CD I can listen 
to all the way through without skipping tracks. Lush, dramatic and beautiful pop album. 
Jimmy's distinctive voice is very strong. Vocal arrangements and lyrics sound more 
confident than ever. He has definitely carved out a niche for himself apart from 
Bronski Beat and the Communards. Fans of good pop albums will enjoy this release. 

On a footnote here Jimmy if you are reading, we met backstage at the Daisy Chain in 
London, and I wanna know, did you ever leave that Frank Sinatra look-a-like alone?