A Flock Of Seagulls / The Light At The End Of The World

Light at the End of the WorldThe Light at the End of the World is a 1995 US only studio album by the band A Flock of Seagulls. Three singles were released from the album, “Magic”, “Burnin’ Up” and “Rainfall”.

The Analysis:

Burnin’ Up—-The most unfortunate thing about this release is that no one ever heard it!!! This is perhaps the best release that the band had conceived since Listen. This song keeps in tact a large amount of the synth line power pop, the remarkable vocal of Mike Score while also including much more guitar and a strong drum track. This is layered with instrumental sounds that lets you know from the first notes who you are listening to. for me…this was a huge triumph…although ignored by everyone else on the planet.

Magic—-Although this was released as a domestic single, this song has never seen the light of day. This could have fit perfectly on the first two releases by this band with little problem. Although there is much more actual instrumentation on this track, the underlying synth line swirls below the whole thing and gives the whole song a space oriented feel. Score delivers a trademark vocal that is so compforting…it is sad to think I have heard the last of this band…I guess that is what CD’s are for right?

Setting Sun—-This remains on of the high points of this release…full of swirling synth lines and the slight space feel of the music that first helped to break this band in the US, Mike Score enters with a vocal that is so familiar yet amazingly fresh. This is an epic song…running at over 6 minutes in length, this is a synth love song if there ever was one. This is gentle at times, a bit more aggressive at others. Truly remarkable.

Rainfall—-This is my favorite track from this release. When the synth enters and the drum follows you are sucked right back into 1984. This is so reminiscent of the classic stuff that it would fit on any of the earlier releases as well. Score delivers a gentle vocal that is so melodic you find yourself falling into a gentle daydream as the song unfolds. This is true brilliance…why people did not gravitate to this is beyond me…this is as wonderful as the first time I heard it.

Ordinary Man—-With a nice bass guitar leading in the song, the synths are underneath all of the instrumentation but add to the sound anyways. Score delivers a vocal that really kind of irritates me…an Industrial singer he is not. This seems full of effects and added sounds that are not necessary, as the band has always delivered a nice atmospheric sound with synthesizers alone. This is nice, but a bit out of the realm of the band’s sound.

You’re Mine—-This is a wonderfully layered synth ballad that is full of swirls and electric guitar that soars as high as the keyboard effects. Score sounds much more himself on this track and delivers lyrics that are so relatable and real you find yourself hanging on every word..wishing you could construct such beauty from words. This is brilliant…I really like this…it is real and very tender.

Walking In The Garden—-Coming out of the darkness with a hum that grows and grows into a huge pop sound, the band is in fine form with this track. This is circa 1985 without a doubt. this is energetic and layered with the classic AFOS synth sounds…space filled and swirling. Score delivers a rather aggressive vocal, but it fits the pace of the song wonderfully well. This is just fantastic!!!

Hearts On Fire—-This is so retro that it makes me want to grab the first release to listen to. The beats that are produced by the drummer, set with the familiar synth line and the unmistakable vocal add up to a nice nostalgic trip back in time. This is freakin’ wonderful…reminding me that I was one of the few people who fell in love with this band because of the music and not Mike’s hair style. This is fantastic!

Life Is Easy—-Although this begins rather sedate…leading you to believe that this is going to be a rather sad track, the synth suddenly kicks in and surprises you. This ends up being a rather poppy track that reminds you when you least expect love…it just might sneak up and bite you in the ass and life is so much brighter after that happens. A nice sentiment, but rather generic. This is nice but seems like filler to me.

 Say You Love Me—-This is another track that has that remarkable almost trademark shuffle synth sound that the band finessed in the heyday of their career. When you add Mike Score’s familiar vocal you are once again settled comfortably in a sound that allows you to relive the past in a nice pleasant way. This is shiny and poppy…allowing for the actual instrumentation to be also noticed…trust me…this is a real band as well. This is really nice!

The Light At The End Of The World—-This begins with some REALLY odd sounds….allowing the anticipation to build up before the song manages to take any shape or form. This is Enigma style ministration…full of synth sounds that are full of space and a magical flute. You wait…wondering where this is all going to end up…..this is a huge disappointment….never materializing into anything but a bunch of sounds and shapes.

 Seven Seas—-This is a quaint little piece of orchestrated synth music that only serves to tell that the band had run out of ideas…three songs shorter and this would have been a classic masterpiece of a comeback.

**** out of 5


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