They may have been away for fifteen years, but 2010 has seen a flurry of activity from the Power Of Dreams camp. The re-release of debut album Immigrants, Emigrants and Me and subsequent reunion tour were both warmly received and this month will see them back out gigging with Sultans Of Ping FC and The Frank & Waters. Now we have this career spanning compilation that finds them back on a major label. Some would argue that the ‘best of’ box has already been ticked by the year’s earlier release and those sparkling first tracks are indeed still the high point, the sound of a young band itching to take on the world.
By the time they came to record follow-up 2 Hell With Common Sense, the world didn’t seem quite so shiny as the musical landscape changed around them. If 1989 proves anything, however, it’s that their second album was a fine, mature piece of work and one that has been unjustly overlooked. ‘There I Go Again’ shows a link with what came before, but the likes of ‘Cancer’ and ‘Metalscape’ saw them developing a harder, darker sound – one which Craig Walker would explore further with Archive. It’s just a shame that their version of Prince’s ‘The Cross’ didn’t sneak in.
Those two albums form the bulk of 1989, but even then there is still discoveries to be made. ‘Cathy’s World’ is a fine pop song, ‘Hymn For Him’ likewise (even if the polished sound is almost unrecognisable) and the sole new track, ‘1989’ itself, is by no means out of place. If it points to another chapter still remains to be seen but, whatever happens, Power Of Dreams have reclaimed their own history in style.