After two albums with singer Jack Bruce, Robin Trower brought back original vocalist James Dewar for his 1983 release Back It Up. Longtime fans surely hoped for another Bridge of Sighs, but by this time the songwriting had been reduced to pedestrian hard rock, with only occasional flashes of the old cosmic brilliance. Both "The River" and "Benny Dancer" have some of the old edge, and the instrumental "Island" is one of the most beautiful songs Trower ever did. Unfortunately, however, this record was ignored by the old fans (many of whom were now busy starting families and toting briefcases), and it was hard for him to win over a new audience when haircut bands like Culture Club flooded both the radio and the latest media sensation – MTV.
Mirrorball is a melodically affecting exercise in ethereal ambience – precisely what you might expect from two artists whose CVs list collaborations with Harold Budd. That's not to set Budd up as an overarching influence, though: Foxx and Guthrie come to this album with their own long-established and distinctive pedigrees, the former as an electronic pioneer and the latter as chief architect of the Cocteau Twins' unique dream pop lullabies. Mirrorball bears the musical fingerprints of both, combining Guthrie's trademark hypnotic, echo-laden melodies with the kind of otherworldly, cavernous spaces that Foxx mapped on Cathedral Oceans.