The Electricity Club looks forward to three of the most eagerly anticipated albums of 2011 from THE HUMAN LEAGUE, MIRRORS and DURAN DURAN
THE HUMAN LEAGUE Credo
‘Credo’ is THE HUMAN LEAGUE’s first new body of work since 2001’s ‘Secrets’. Produced by Dean Honer and Jarrod Gosling of I MONSTER, the nucleus of Philip Oakey, Susanne Sulley and Joanne Catherall are ably supported by long standing sidemen Neil Sutton, Rob Barton and David Beevers.
‘Night People’ and ‘Electric Shock’ have already been showcased live with the latter sounding like what would have happened if Philip Oakey had actually recorded with GIORGIO MORODER in 1977 instead of 1984. And in the early days when it was Phil talkin’, he always remarked how THE HUMAN LEAGUE never aspired to be KRAFTWERK but actually wanted to be DONNA SUMMER! With the haunting tones of 1995’s ‘These Are The Days’ lurking in the background, ‘Electric Shock’ cleverly fuses past, present and future.
‘Never Let Me Go’ is a marvellous opener which sees an auto-tuned Susanne Sulley take lead vocals on a piece of dancey electro that sounds like CLIENT gone funky. The excellent ‘Get Together’ has poptastic potential and launches into a classic League chorus with plenty of lovely synth action while closer ‘When Stars Start To Shine’ is a fun, off-beat number which rhythmically echoes THOMAS DOLBY’s ‘Europa And The Pirate Twins’. Alongside Philip’s deadpan chants of “keep on moving”, this ditty even sounds in places like their former sparring partners HEAVEN 17!
‘Credo’ is a welcome return for THE HUMAN LEAGUE and will be enjoyed by all lovers of electronic pop who have waited a long time for the realisation of this lively opus. So all you ‘Night People’, “listen to the sound, there is movement all around!”
- Never Let Me Go
- Night People
- Into The Night
- Single Minded
- Electric Shock
- Get Together
- Breaking The Chains
- When Stars Start To Shine
‘Credo’ is released by Wall Of Sound Records on 21st March 2011
MIRRORS Lights And Offerings
Despite some initial recording sessions with Ed Bueller and Richard X, Brighton pop-noir quartet MIRRORS retreated to a rural farmhouse in Sussex to produce ‘Lights And Offerings’ themselves before the final mixes were completed by Jonathan Kreinik at DFA Studios in New York.
Rewarding their vision and self-belief, the resultant album itself is a seamless majestic journey swathed in layers of vintage electronics and modern rhythmical dynamics, all within a dense but emotive setting.
The hypnotic Somewhere Strange takes the listener on the most euphoric train ride since NEW ORDER’s ‘Temptation’ while the final track ‘Secrets’ is a rousing percussive epic in three movements including its own ambient parenthesis. Including reworked versions of the brilliant singles ‘Look At Me’ and ‘Into The Heart’ plus more recent offerings ‘Ways To An End’ and ‘Hide And Seek’, one potential 45 could be the frenetic ‘Searching In The Wilderness’ which see MIRRORS operating and generating new life with the classic uptempo synthpop format. And all this without mentioning the superb sonic pulsar of live favourite ‘Fear Of Drowning’ with its dramatic overtures of young manhood.
James New, Ally Young, Tate and Josef Page have created one of the most impressively intelligent debut albums by a British band for many, many years. MIRRORS are worthy successors to the original Synth Britannia generation. Those who were disappointed by ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK’s comeback album ‘History Of Modern’ may find exactly what they are looking for in ‘Lights And Offerings’.
- Fear Of Drowning
- Look At Me
- Into The Heart
- Write Through The Night
- Ways To An End
- Hide And Seek
- Somewhere Strange
- Something On Your Mind
- Searching In The Wilderness
‘Lights And Offerings’ is released by Skint Records on 28th February 2011
DURAN DURAN All You Need Is Now
The Electricity Club recently asked DURAN DURAN’s John Taylor about the inspiration for the 5 song electro set on their last tour which included covers of ‘Warm Leatherette’ and ‘Showroom Dummies’ as well as a synthesized rework of their cult classic ‘Last Chance On The Stairway’. Commenting that it made a refreshing change from acoustic sets, JT’s swift reply was: “yes, exactly… fun wasn’t it. Nick and I really hate those ‘oh so sensitive’ acoustic sets”!
Their previous album ‘Red Carpet Massacre’ had already signalled a more electronic based direction but was clouded by the involvement of Timbaland and Justin Timberlake which confused fans and critics alike. Now while Messrs Le Bon, Rhodes, Taylor and Taylor haven’t actually turned into KRAFTWERK, new album ‘All You Need Is Now’ sees DURAN DURAN cyclically return to the funk-led syncopated pop of the ‘Duran Duran’ and ‘Rio’ albums where they successfully merged CHIC with GIORGIO MORODER. Produced by Mark Ronson, the New York based brasshead was keen to experiment with synthesizers and see DURAN DURAN reclaim their quintessential sound.
Of what’s on offer, ‘Being Followed’ is a superb sequencer assisted disco number with a tingling metallic edge that captures the post 9/11 paranoia while songstress KELIS dreamily assists on the moody ‘The Man Who Stole A Leopard’ which also features string arrangements by ARCADE FIRE’s Owen Pallett. Recalling the wonderful ambience of ‘Tel Aviv’ from the first album, it also hints at the haunting spectre of ‘The Chauffeur’… only the overloud news broadcast at the end ruins it slightly.
‘Girl Panic’ and ‘Runaway Runaway’ are both classic DD while ‘Blame The Machines’ is fun-fun-fun on the Autobahn and the intro is the closest they’ve ever sounded to the Klingklang Quartett since ‘All She Wants Is’. But the rhythm guitars and ‘Electric Barbarella’ type refrain keep it unmistakably DURAN DURAN. Dressed throughout with Nick Rhodes’ stabbing electronics, his claims that this album is “undoubtedly one of the strongest of our career” might actually have some credence.
- All You Need Is Now
- Blame The Machines
- Being Followed
- Leave A Light On
- Girl Panic
- The Man Who Stole A Leopard
- Runaway Runaway
- Before The Rain
- Other People’s Lives
- King Of Nowhere
iTunes released a 9-track version of “the imaginary follow-up to Rio that never was” on 21st December 2010 but All You Need Is Now with three bonus tracks will be available on physical formats worldwide via Tape Modern in February 2011.
Text by Chi Ming Lai
7th January 2011