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Grown stale so soon

Signs of Life
Signs of Life
By Billy Squier

Capitol Records: 1984

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This review first appeared in the August 27, 1984 issue of The Daily Aztec.

Tith the release of his fourth album, "Signs of Life," Billy Squier has sadly joined the ranks of groups like Styx and Journey that produce clone music which subjugates artistry to sales.

Like Journey and Styx, Squier is trying to capture both the mainstream pop audience and the hard rockers. He attempts this by combining strong guitar leads and dual synthesizer/vocal melody lines.

Since, to judge by his earlier efforts, Squier has more talent than Styx and Journey combined, the new album is particularly frustrating. But "Signs of Life" is no more than a rehash of what's sold well on Squier's previous albums, and because of that, little of it works.

Side one beings strongly with "All Night Long," probably the best song on the album. The second song, "Rock Me Tonite," is the one getting the airplay – and while it has a catchy melody, the overly smooth production contrasts with Squier's rough vocals.

On side two, even a guest appearance by Queen guitarist Brian May can't save "(Another) 1984" with its cliched hooks and worn-out Orwellian lyrics.

When he hit the charts with his first album, "The Tale of the Tape," in 1980, Squier had a refreshing, individualistic sound. Just four years later, he's already grown cautious and stale. Here's hoping he find the confidence to start exploring again.