• Bradford
  • Shouting Quietly (Sire) 1990 

Bradford’s Ian H. is a talented chap. He writes better-than-average melodic pop-rock songs (mostly about life and love in northern England), his lyrics display a wit and verbal ability worthy of Elvis Costello and he sings them in a way that’ll remind you a lot of Morrissey (Bradford comes from a Manchester suburb, not the nearby town for which the group is named, and were discovered by producer Stephen Street — who did the honors here — opening a show for Morrissey). So why isn’t Shouting Quietly a better album? Consider the title. The record is just too low-key for its own good; the band never delivers the punch to make the songs involving. These days, shouting quietly just may not be enough.

[Dave Schulps]