The Human League
added: 15 Mar 2011
// release date: 21 Mar 2011 // label: Wall of Sound
reviewer: Adrian I
The Human League set the musical world alight 30 years ago with the seminal classic ‘Dare’ which provided ‘Don’t You Want Me’ as one of THE tracks of the 80s. From here there were hits aplenty with tracks like ‘(Keep Feeling) Fascination’, Mirror Man’ and ‘Human’ although the success of ‘Dare’ was never repeated.
Fast forward 30 years and three of the successful 1981 line-up remain, in the form of front man Phil Oakey along with female vocalists Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley. New album ‘Credo’ (their 10th studio album in various guises) is surprisingly good, capturing some of the sound of ‘Dare’, along with elements of early 90’s tracks like ‘Heart Like a Wheel’ as well as managing to sound relatively contemporary.
The opening track of the album ‘Never Let me Go’ really kick starts ‘Credo’ off to a blinder – with the trademark sound of Oakey vocally sparing with Jo and Susan over a choppy electronic beat. The quality follows quickly with first single ‘Night People’ and ‘Sky’ both delivering high quality pop that takes you back 30 years.
After this promising opener the quality varies somewhat. ‘Into the Night’ is a lower key track with a forgettable sound to it. ‘Egomaniac’ strays into Pet Shop Boys territory (no bad thing) to enable Oakey to go vocally low and serious. Single Minded follows the PSB sound to some extent and delivers a very catchy chorus that Messer’s Tennant and Lowe would be proud of. ‘Electric Shock’ goes a bit beeps and bleeps to deliver a fast paced number.
‘Get Together’ has a bit of League Unlimited thrown in at the start before a ‘Louise’ styled vocal cuts in. ‘Privilege’ is a sombre staid affair which is too plain to really get you excited. Faith is restored with ‘Breaking the Chains’ providing some of the pop quality found at the start of ‘Credo’.
It all closes down with the excellent ‘When The Stars Start to Shine’ – Human League at their best both vocally and musically; again mixing the best of the early 90’s era with a bit of Dare, along with some Heaven 17 circa Penthouse and Pavement (sorry that maybe contentious for THL fans!!).
Really good album on the whole and one that surprises considering their it’s 30 years since their initial success.
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