Recording information: Strawberry Studios South Ltd.
With 10cc's last album, Bloody Tourists, having spun off the monster hit "Dreadlock Holiday," it would be a very brave person indeed who could argue that the most consistently inventive band of the previous eight years had finally run out of steam. But there were clues; no follow-up hits on the last album, a certain lack of pizzazz on their most recent tours, and an incapacitating car accident that kept Eric Stewart immobile for almost nine months. Put all that together and, when Look Hear? did finally materialize, the surprise might have been that it was as good as it was. Which, to be honest, wasn't much. It was old news now that the departures of Godley and Creme had robbed the band of the left-field experimentation that made the earlier records such classics; this was the surviving duo's third album since then. But the enthusiasm, too, had gone. Songs on Look Hear? either struggled half-heartedly to amuse (the disco semi-parody "One Two Five," the odd "I Hate to Eat Alone"), or else they didn't do much of anything, beyond nailing a pleasant melody to some gentle words dripped slowly onto the rug. You listened and half of it went in one ear and out the other, and that is still the problem today. It's "OK." It's "not bad." It's "a bit bland." It's "ho hum." Two bonus tracks on the 7-Ts reissue include the single edit of "One Two Five" and its B-side, "Only Child." Neither adds nor subtracts anything from the main attraction, apart from further beautifying what is, surprisingly, the album's first domestic CD release. ~ Dave Thompson