The wonder of a one-hit winner

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 May, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 03 May, 1996, 12:00am

Babylon Zoo - The Boy With The X-Ray Eyes (EMI) Knocking poor old George Michael from the top of the British charts with his first number one in years, Babylon Zoo scored a massive hit with Spaceman, prompting record company EMI to claim it was their fastest selling single since the 1960s. Why this record should be such a hit remains a mystery, however, particularly among people who have heard it.

Mostly propelled along by its use in a TV commercial for Levi's jeans, the track is catchy but hardly an instant pop classic.

As for the rest of the album, while there are one or two potentially nice tunes they are destroyed by unimaginative and ugly production, which makes smothering use of over-distorted guitars played through an amp your dad made from an old radio.

The vocals of Jas Mann often conjure Ziggy-era David Bowie, (or at least Suede doing Ziggy-era DB), yet the overall effect is more early 1980s, sort of Ultravox meets Tears for Fears. Lyrics, meanwhile, are straight from the bedroom sci-fi fan handbook, and when Mann runs out of ideas he resorts to spelling words out for us, hence Confused A-R-T, and C-A-F-F-E-I-N-E.

Proceedings are not helped by mostly plodding mid-tempo rhythms brought down by tedious Phil Collins drumming. One-hit wonders.