Richard Marx - My Own Best Enemy

2006-03-29 20:46

Well, yes and no. "Right Here Waiting", that great big schmaltzy, catchy radio hit you'll probably remember no matter how hard you try to forget it, is from the end of the 80s. But Richard Marx has quietly continued producing solid but desperately middle of the road pop albums. This has earned him the dubious honour of being compared with Michael Bolton.

Richard possesses a standard combination of factors that'll always have a certain type of music fan whipping out their wallet and reaching for the tissue box and the tub of ice cream. These are 1) a husky but mundane vocal style 2) relaxed and easy to sing melodies 3) unimaginative percussion backing, 4) aging boy next door looks and 5) rhyming lyrics so well worn they make early Beatles hits sound erudite and daring. You know the deal: "Wrong" rhymes with "Gone", "Me" with "Destiny" and you, the listener, are the subject of every romantic ballad.

My Own Best Enemy is a professional product. In the box, you'll find 12 neatly crafted, pacey but soppy love songs that become more indistinguishable from one another the longer you listen to the CD, despite the occasionally attractive arrangement, and the glossy new style production values.

Bryan Adams, Josh Groban, Rod Stewart, Michael Learns to Rock, and Michael Bolton fans should add My Own Best Enemy to their CD rack - it'll slot in just perfectly. But other music fans might say that most tracks are just passably cute, and terribly bad-taste, lost love laments.

There's only one track that truly stands out, and makes you think "Wow. He really MEANS this." The lyric "Locked up tight but holding the key | The clock keeps ticking like it's laughing at me" sums it up. This is the first track on the album and it's prophetically titled: "Nothing left to say".

- Jean Barker


Marx is no longer a pop icon and, despite its assorted assembly of quality songs, 'My Own Best Enemy' is unlikely to fly. But if you're a sucker for the guilty pleasure of old fashioned pop-rock, give it a listen.
- Nils van der Linden for

"...his crime is being unfashionable, and for it he'll serve a sentence: As friendly as Enemy is to the ear, it won't earn him a new--and much-needed--generation of fans."
- Tammy La Gorce for

If you tell people about this album, the common reaction is "What? Richard Marx is still around?"

Angie 2005/01/27 5:40 PM
The regurtitations It seems that 80s music is like thrush. Just as you're starting to forget it ever happens it comes back. I had nearly wiped the big hair and the bigger hit from my head, and then you remind me. Thanks a LOT. The Streets - Grand don't come easy
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