Pete Fij / Terry Bickers
Broken Heart Surgery

Released: 7th July 2014
Label: Pete Fij / Terry Bickers

For those of you that remember Pete and Terry’s former bands, Adorable and The House of Love, both of which played a huge part in the story of Creation Records, then it will come as no surprise just how amazing this partnership is.

Stories of love and heartbreak dominate this album, a theme that has been covered a million times over in music, but one that will always inspire great songs. Especially, as in this case, when the heartbreak occurs in middle age, allowing for greater reflections upon life, cynicism and resentment to dominate the melancholic lyrics and melodies throughout ‘Broken Heart Surgery’.

The album starts with ‘Out Of Time’ which I previously described as the song of the year and, with less than half of 2014 remaining, it is going to take something special to beat this incredible song. The gentle guitar melodies will send shivers through your entire body with lyrics that capture romance, reflections on life and building a bridge between days gone by and modern times in a tender and moving way. “I tend to see things in a different light you send me emails and send me texts you know I can’t connect I’m not a techno lover, You seem to treat love like a free download the latest plug in, to me it's something more alive a scratched 45”.

After starting the album with the song of the year, you may think that the rest of the album will be a let down. Well, if those are your thoughts, you seriously could not be further from the truth; pretty much every one of the following nine songs is a highlight. ‘Downsizing’ captures heartbreak in a beautiful way, “She had an audit of her life, and something had to go, last in first out, well I guess I should have known”. As is the case with many of the songs on this album, Terry’s understated guitar playing is so effective at allowing Pete’s vocals to ease their way inside the listener's head and focus intently on the lyrics being sung.

‘Betty Ford’ is absolute lyrical genius, there is so much wit and cynicism within this song, “Hope, it's more addictive than coke, yeah it's cupids cruel joke, and look at me laughing”. More lyrical humour can be found in ‘Love and Lost’ a beautiful two minute song which ends with the great line, “It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, well whoever said that should be shot”.

‘The Sound Of Love’ is one of those songs that you never want to end, everything about this song is more than perfect, the way it gently builds into an uplifting melody and chorus is everything and more that I could want from a song about love.

I really could go on and on, declaring how every lyric sung is a stroke of genius, how every understated guitar sound has been created with great care and attention, however I think it is time for me to end this review and let you go and make your own minds up. I urge each and every one of you to take my words seriously and not think I am just some over excited music fan. Pete Fij and Terry Bickers truly have created a masterpiece of an album with ‘Broken Heart Surgery’ and you need to part with your hard earned cash and have it in your music collection now.

Steve Tay

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