By: Matt Moore
Missing Persons featuring Dale Bozzio, “Missing in Action” (Cleopatra Records)
With its first studio album in 25 years, Missing Persons featuring Dale Bozzio could have started slow, mindful of the time that’s passed.
But why bother when the energy is vibrant, the spirit willing and Bozzio — the lone original member of the newly reformed band — bursting to show there’s energy comparable to the 1980s-era original incarnation that released “Walking in L.A.,” ”Words” and “Destination Unknown.”
The 12-track release is largely a showcase for Bozzio and Billy Sherwood, who’s credited not only with drums, bass, guitars, keyboards, percussion and backing vocals, but having written most of the songs, too. That means the title track is an apt one, at least in regard to the original band’s lineup.
The focus, however, is on Bozzio. Her 1980s new wave chirping and visualized kinetic persona propelled that version of Missing Persons to stardom on MTV.
Now, her voice is matured, measured even, and accomplished. Bozzio doesn’t have to prove anything and that’s evident from the opening track “Do or Die,” a fast-paced, keyboard-laced back-and-forth that brings to mind whirling and swirling. “Looking to the left, looking to the right, looking for the fire to ignite,” she sings, a wall of vibrating sound enhancing the effect of spinning. It’s a song that would not seem out of place in either 1985 or 2014.
In all, the album is solidly done. The range of the tracks move from dance-floor staples to slow-dance grippers. Bozzio’s still got her form and the music is not out of place.