Easy-Listening, Rasping vocals
"Varied but coherent, dynamic but moving, energetic but melodic, accessible without being simplistic, "Circus Animals" by Cold Chisel is an exciting album from start to finish."
LOLOCELTIC (05.11.2015)  
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With "East" (1980), Cold Chisel achieved a nice commercial success, especially in the Pacific. However, its pop side displeased Don Walker who did not wish to continue in the same way. Although still produced by Mark Opitz, the new album will take two years to come after "East". This unusual delay is the result of the numerous requests the band had to answer because of its new status, but also because of its attempt to conquer the North American market, for a disappointing result on which we will reconsider. Lastly, as Mark Opitz himself admits it, the atmosphere in the studio was much more festive than for the previous opus. The result is not less successful though, on the contrary.

With their new album, the Australians refuse to be considered like circus animals. The strange cover shows the band taking a pose around a caravan in the middle of the desert near the Lake Eyre and gives out the message, since "Circus Animals" is a real flagship of the Australian man's identity. Each track claims this specificity by revealing different fragments of what characterizes the inhabitants of the island-continent in full assertion of their autonomy compared to their Anglophile cousins. You Got Nothing I Want' opens the hostilities by settling its score with the United States after the disrespectful behavior of which the group was victim on its label behalf. A charge against the North American mentality, it is angry but melodic with its unbeatable chorus, its heartbreaking guitar and its epileptic piano. On its side, 'Bow River' proves to be a real hymn for the working class who wants to dump everything and leave a model of civilization that doesn't suit them anymore, while 'Taipan' glides like the fearsome snake from which it takes its name, alternating calm and plaintive passages and striking rises in intensity.

The sounds are varied, often within the titles themselves, avoiding most of the time a too big simplicity without being inaccessible for all that. The tempi sometimes change suddenly but without it sounding incoherent, like this 'Letter To Alan', a tribute to a roadie of the band who died in a truck accident during a tour. The track starts as a calm and sad ballad on a duet vocal - piano before accelerating on a humming bass for almost six minutes. The changes of rhythm are frequent and the choruses are replaced by soli for a bright final result.

It is difficult to be short on an album multiplying the climaxes without falling into a detailed analysis of each title which could prove to be boring. This would give in the end a deformed image of the reality, whereas this album is fascinating from the very beginning. We will however quote the anthem 'Wild Colonial Boy', march affirming with pride the aussie spirit with a blazing final, as well as the ballad 'When The War Is Over' seeing Ian Moss and Jimmy Barnes sharing the vocals, the first one on a calm and melancholic beginning, and the second one for a powerful final, a blend of manly pride and despair.

With "Circus Animals", Cold Chisel reaches the point of a paroxysmal rock. Varied but coherent, dynamic but moving, energetic but melodic, accessible without being simplistic, the whole with a balance bordering on the sublime. Here, the Australian rock asserts its own identity, that of a real authenticity served by talented musicians preferring to put their technique at the service of the songs rather than getting lost in sterile displays. A must-have album that puts its authors in the Hall of Fame of rock.
- Official website

01. You Got Nothing I Want - 3:18
02. Bow River - 4:24
03. Forever Now - 4:26
04. Taipan - 3:55
05. Houndog - 5:04
06. Wild Colonial Boy - 4:52
07. No Good For You - 3:17
08. Numbers Fall - 4:46
09. When The War Is Over - 4:25
10. Letter To Alan - 5:47

Don Walker: Claviers
Ian Moss: Chant / Guitares
Jimmy Barnes: Chant
Phil Small: Basse
Steve Prestwich: Batterie
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