Release Date: 1981
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Although his solo debut A-Z had been a foray into moderately mainstream territory, The Singing Fish was an about-face. Written, produced, and performed almost exclusively by Newman (Wire's Robert Gotobed contributes to one track), the album is virtually instrumental, comprising minimalist interludes as opposed to conventional songs. The Singing Fish was not conceived as a pop album but as a record of functional music that might lend itself to use in other media, such as television or film. Taken on those terms, it makes for diverse, engaging listening that juxtaposes eastern nuances, cartoonish quirkiness, ambient textures, sparse piano melodies, hypnotic grooves, and, in places, a kind of rigid austerity reminiscent of Joy Division.
- Wilson Neate, AllMusic