IQ - Are You Sitting Comfortably?,
Here, finally, is the last re-release by IQ. Originally dating from 1989, this was the second album to feature Paul Menel on vocals, and the promise of what might be that was heralded on ‘Nomzamo’ comes to joyful fruition on ‘Are You Sitting Comfortably...?’ It is an album that by whatever standards you wish to use, just must be hailed as a classic. The band are as musically tight as one would expect from a hard-working outfit recording their fourth studio album with just a single change in band personnel. Paul was by now extremely happy in his role, and his vocals rise and shine with great melody, mixing well with the harmonies provided by Martin and Tim. Straight from the off, with the slowly rising and eventually dominating “War Heroes” we are deep in the musical melodious world of IQ. Next up is “Drive”, the hit single that never was. Infectious in the extreme, it is indeed a sad indictment of the music charts in the UK that this was never a huge seller. The menace of “Nostalgia” moves us neatly into “Falling Apart At The Seams”, which gradually builds up tempo, and rises on the bass to be a dramatic rocker. IQ are, and always have been, a rock band first and foremost and this album proves it again and again. The musical hooks in this song alone would put even the most hardened anti-progger in ecstasy (yes, I like this one). I have not the time to give a track by track, blow by blow résumé of the album, but I must just mention one more, “Wurensh”. Great keyboards, great guitar, stunning vocals, loads of melody and time changes… I’m in heaven. In case you have not got the picture, all the IQ albums should be in any decent rock lover’s collection and that includes ‘Are You Sitting Comfortably...?’. Also, there is a bonus song, a live rendition of “Nothing At All”.