Midge Ure is one of those pop figures who joins a bunch of dots, perhaps to a greater degree than his observed talent might suggest. From this boy band to New Pop to the charity records boom, via a tangential role (and almost much more than that, if he’s to be believed) in the Pistols story – he’s been around. That’s all to come: here and now he’s in Slik, chasing the last of the rollerbux with this preposterous and almost fantastic record. While some mid-70s boybeat looks forward to Westlife sluggishness, the flagrant gothy grandiosity of “Forever And Ever” nudges at more enjoyable futures: the Max Martin Backstreet Boys at their most epic, maybe? At the very least Ure himself remembered how effective a wash of sound and a muffled drumbeat could be in setting a mood.

That’s the story in the verses: the jump from there to the scarves-above-yer-heads pop on the chorus is a connection as odd as Midge ever made, and rousing though it is in a by-the-book way, you can’t help but feel a little bit deflated. I’m not sure pop technology had advanced enough to give “Forever And Ever” the monstrous refrain its intro demands, but this chummy compromise is a shift too far. Even so, there’s plenty to enjoy here and as cynical bandwagon-chasers go this is one of the classics. I particularly like the bogus outrage in Ure’s delivery when he asks how his girl could possibly have doubted his sincerity. You half expect Slik to come back in yelling “SUCKER!” a half-second after the song ends.

Score: 6

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