Cast – Troubled Times
Cast have never been critical darlings. Even when Britpop was at its peak they were being written off as mere trad revivalists. But this never affected their popularity, mainly thanks to John Power, a songwriter with a gift for writing radio-friendly melodies. Having split almost unnoticed in 2001, Cast return with a self-released album which attempts to pick up exactly where they left off.
The guitars all chime brightly and Power re-opens his big book of lyrical clichés. He "can't help keep holdin' on" much like he "can't help payin' the price." Even the John Leckie production can't disguise what is a strangely lifeless record. Anyone with fond memories of previous Cast hits is likely to be disappointed with these forgettable offerings. The choruses – vital to any guitar pop band – fall flat every time. Hold On Tight hints at previous glories, but there's little here to sustain even the keenest fan.