Victoria’s Bullets – “Victoria’s Bullets” (1986)

I picked this up the other day in Minneapolis because it was a local private press, it had a super-cool cover, and it was pretty cheap. I assumed it was something jazz-like based on the instruments involved (lots of saxophones and flutes), plus the participation of percussionist Fred Masey, but it turned out to be more pop / adult contemporary, with some occasional rock guitar and mid-80s style new wave synths. Honestly it’s all over the place, and the songs are hard to pin down – there’s a lot going on here, and it makes it hard to identify the framework of the songs.

Victoria’s Bullets came out in 1986 and it feels like it was a bit late to the new wave party, possibly anticipating a direction the music would take, but one that never materialized. Let me be clear – these four songs are not bad; there’s plenty of musical talent on this record. The sheer volume of flute playing is impressive for something this poppy, yet it remains subtle enough that it doesn’t run off into a Jethro Tull rabbit hole. Perhaps the best description I can give is it sounds like an adult contemporary version of Pat Benatar. An interesting listen, though not one I’m likely to come back to time and time again.

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