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Walls Have Eyes - Robin Gibb (1985)
Audio CD
Track Listing

1. You Don't Say Us Anymore
2. Like a Fool
3. Heartbeat in Exile
4. Remedy
5. Toys
6. Someone To Believe In
7. Gone with the Wind
8. These Walls Have Eyes
9. Possession
10. Do You Love Her?
 

Review
by Nicholas James

This is Robin's third solo album of the 1980s, following on from the electro-romantic How Old Are You and the techno-dance Secret Agent. On this album, Robin - perhaps realising that his attempts to do something different on the previous albums had not paid off commercially - veers back towards a more standard Bee Gees sound. This is probably helped no end by the fact that Barry Gibb also co-wrote most of the songs and even sung on one of the tracks.

Despite the fact that the album is reigned in somewhat from the previous solo album, it produces perhaps more stand-out tracks. In fact, this is an album of extremes. Where songs fall into the category of 'great', they tend to be more memorable than songs on any of Robin's previous albums. Where they don't fall into the category of 'great', they tend to be bland, almost rushed.

So which songs fall into the 'great' category? Certainly 'Toys'. Written by all three brothers, this is a dark and brooding song that is, to all intents and purposes, the Bee Gees. It even has Barry's voice as the dominant voice on the chorus, and Robin's touching vocal on the verses is outstanding. 'Gone With The Wind', one of only two tracks written by Robin and Maurice without Barry, is a big ballad with immense power and emotion. Whilst it could almost be described as cheesy, this is such a great song, with such a powerful vocal by Robin and simple, effective, production, that it genuinely transcends that description. Other good songs are: 'Like A Fool', a simple melodic track, which was oddly released as the first single; 'You Don't Say Us Anymore', a neat, electronic track with interesting verse and 'middle eight'; and 'Someone To Believe In', electronic in sound, but much more restrained than the Secret Agent album. Sadly, other songs such as 'Do You Love Her', 'Remedy' and 'Heartbeat In Exile' come across simply as fillers and are not memorable.

Despite the fact that this is Robin's most polished album, and that it has several really great tracks, this is the least satisfying of all his 1980s solo albums. Too many of the tracks are just too inconsequential, and whether this more restrained approach was a requirement of the record company or an artistic decision of Robin and Maurice (or their producer Tom Dowd), this is the Robin Gibb solo album from the 1980s that I would play the least. It was also the least commercially successful of Robin's solo albums and saw the end of his solo career for almost 20 years.

Why Buy Walls Have Eyes?

To hear the 'almost-Bee-Gees' track Toys and an album that sounds remarkably like a Bee Gees album from this era.

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