[4_stars ]

He was once a teen idol, a musical genius who strode the pop charts like a colossus and who quite rightly scored hit after hit in the video ridden 1980’s.

In 1984 Nik Kershaw released his debut album Human Racing, now just under 30 years later, Nick finally releases his eighth album and as with a lot of things, time has been kind and improved the music that the man creates.  In Ei8ht, Nik Kershaw becomes the musician he was destined to be.

Alongside the great Howard Jones, Nik Kershaw wowed a generation with tracks such as Wouldn’t It Be Good, the excellent I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me and the title track from the debut album Human Racing. All these songs had something very special about them as they yanked at the spirit of the times. The tug of the war between the two super powers saw the aforementioned I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me capture the imagination perfectly.

Now in Ei8ht, Nik Kershaw takes the past, crumbles it into little pieces and remoulds his career to great effect whilst knowing that his loyal followers will get this new album and take it to their hearts.

Nik is joined on the album by the very able musicianship of Erik Rydningen on drums, Paul Geary on bass and the backing vocals of Chesney and Keely Hawkes. These vocalists and musicians add to some of the great work already laid down by Mr. Kershaw and on tracks such as The Sky’s The Limit, Bad Day You’re Having and Red Strand the session musicians enhance what is already excellent work.

Although the music of the 21st century could be considered slightly more sophisticated that the time from when Nik Kershaw first stormed the charts, he has however had the good fortune to release a few albums since 1999, this one is by far the best he has produced since his 1980’s heyday. The music and lyrics are near perfect and are some of his most poignant and touching in a 30 year career.

Ian D. Hall