Thursday, 13 December 2012

Cicero - Then

Cicero (who's real name is Dave Cicero) is somewhat of a forgotten artist. He's perhaps most known amongst Pet Shop Boys fans, those that would be aware of their work with other artists in particular. He was signed to the Pet Shop Boys short lived music label, Spaghetti Records.He became involved with them after he attended one of their 1989 concerts and succeeded in giving a tape of demo's he had recorded to them which Pet Shop Boys subsequently liked. His single Heaven Must Have Sent You Back To Me was the first release on their record label. Cicero would go on to release a number of other singles on the label and to date his only album, titled Future Boy. He was never a chart sucess really which is a shame I think as he does have some excellent songs. The Loving Feeling (which was co-produced by Pet Shop Boys) would have reached much higher than #46 on the UK Singles Chart had it been recorded and released by Pet Shop Boys themselves I feel. Some of the tracks on Future Boy enlisted the help of Pet Shop Boys in one guise or another, but this track - Then - I feel is perhaps the best on the whole album and it doesn't enlist the help of Pet Shop Boys at all. It could easily have been a single I think, I actually prefer this to Love Is Everywhere if I'm honest. Like all of the other tracks on Future Boy, Then was written by Cicero. The song spends pretty much all of its first two minutes as a slow song. It's refreshing for a change of tempo when up until this point, the album has consisted almost exclusively of fast-paced dance tracks. The slow arrangement is quite touching and actually very lovely I think. However, it quickly evolves into a dance track, albeit it still doesn't have just the same pacy feeling as Heaven Must Have Sent You Back To Me for instance. The first time I heard the track the change in tempo did take me by suprise. Having said that, it feels natural though and not contrived or forced to make the track seem more interesting. Most importantly of all, the song still retains the same level of emotion even at when it reaches that faster tempo. The song does sound 80's tinged too - personally I think it sounds a tiny bit like a New Order song - although I think many of the songs on Future Boy have those sonic influences. I have to say that the first time I heard this song I thought I could hear Sylvia Mason James' voice - who has worked extensively with Pet Shop Boys for many years - although the ever informative Discogs site informed me otherwise that it wasn't her on the track. Anyway, this is a really good song from an artist who I feel didn't quite get the recognition he probably deserved.

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