In a curious way this song feels ahead of its time, anticipating a strain of 1970s pop – “Seasons In The Sun”, “Billy Don’t Be A Hero” – that slathered tracks with melody and melodrama. At its best the style smuggles something affecting inside its padding of hokum – or makes the hokum so outrageous or pretty that you don’t care. “Message” doesn’t do that for me, I can’t find a reason to care about the singer’s crimes or dilemmas or backstory or whatever the hell is going on: the hand-wringing vocal just feels contrived, and after a portentious intro the record drags. People looking for the dark side of 1968 may find the Bee Gees’ doomed pleadings strike a chord, but in almost any year there are better gathering storms than this.

Score: 4

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