Archive for electronic

The Essential 80’s Vol. 1-5

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 210000006UTC 12 by marky7235

Vol. 4

Love Will Tear Us Apart Again [Joy Division]—-With this track, considered the only close to hit release in the US, this band gained a cult following until Ian Curtis’ death. The band went on to become New Order and conquer the world….but this is where it all started. This bleak and dark tome to love never tires on me.

Wishing [A Flock Of Seagulls]—-The second single from the self titled debut release, this was a bit longer than the average radio single…but played in the dance clubs rather well. The sound is so comforting and familiar I just have to sit here and listen to the entire thing again and again. The space age feel is everywhere on this track!

Der Kommissar [Falco]—-The only hit single for Falco in the US [unless you include the oft heard Amadeus], this track was played every where and even covered by the American band After The Fire. I prefer the German version….its more fun to guess the sentiment. This is another track that never wears on me.

I Love Rock And Roll [Joan Jett]—-Branching out on her solo career after the demise of The Runaways, Jett scored a gigantic hit with this harder rock track then we were accustomed to hearing on 80’s radio. This has energy, aggression and you can dance to it. We love Joan!!!

Supersonic [ JJ Fad]—-Not so much a radio hit as a cult classic, play this for your friends and remind them when Electro really started. Not only is the beat incredible but the vocals are fantastic…..the speed these girls manage to twist words by is mind numbing. A true classic 80’s track.

The Breaks [Kurtis Blow]—-I was never familiar with Blow until I heard this on the soundtrack from Def Jam [?]. Blow has a vocal that is distinct and instantly recognizable. I love how he always sounds like he is out of breath when he raps….this is classic old school!

The Roof Is On Fire [Rock Master Scott And The Furious Three]—-Any one familiar with the origins of rap and the beginning of the movement knows all about this track. If you don’t, become familiar with this house rocker!!!

I’m Not Having It [Special K]—-Built on simple beats and relying on the give and take of the vocal flow, this track was overplayed and feels a little bit old for me…..it’s an ok track…but it has been done over and over before.

Just A Friend [Biz Markie]—-There is nothing redeeming about this song…..I just don’t like it or Biz!!!

Jenny/867-5309 [Tommy TuTone]—-The saddest thing about this single was the simple fact that no one considered listening to the rest of this album….which is damn exceptional. This is a bona fide 80’s hit….but TuTone still records and tours….playing this whether he wants to or not.

Situations [Cetu Javu]—-I know a lot about the 80’s decade, but I sure don’t know this song!!! It is poppy and reminds me a bit of Men Without Hats. It has a very distinct British sound….there is no denying it should have been heard much more…..

Funky Cold Medina [Tone-Loc]—-Built on the distinct vocal of Tone, that deep baritone is instantly recognizable. This was more of a 90’s hit….but it is on here despite that. Following a few hit singles, Loc now does voice-overs on cartoons.

Treat ‘Em Right [Chubb Rock]—-1990…..I won’t argue over brass tacks though. The beat is pure NYC…the flow is slick and smooth. Still a whole lot of fun to listen to!!

 

*** out of 5

The Essential 80’s Vol. 1-5

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 210000006UTC 12 by marky7235

Vol. 3

Round And Round [Ratt]—-Another of those classic hair bands that really made a huge splash thanks to the distinct vocal flair of Stephen Percy and the unique guitar style of the band. This track is still contagious, infectious and instantly recognizable. This is a track that despite the bands differences, will never fade.

Lost In Your Eyes [Debbie Gibson]—-Along with Tiffany, Gibson was one of the original teeny boppers that had huge singles in the 80’s. Thanks to MTV, shopping mall tours and media exposure we became saturated and tired of them quickly. This song is still pretty quaint and sweet in its way though….it’s a keeper.

Cherry Pie [Warrant]—-Finding huge success in the 80’s thanks to sexy videos and a damn good-looking lead singer, Warrant scored 4 or 5 top ten hits and then the band imploded around drug abuse and in fighting. We are still left with nice gems like this though…..thanks for the memories!!!

It Takes Two [Rob Base]—-Built on a beat that is indelible, the familiarity of this song remains unforgettable. Sampled time and time again in modern rap tracks, that annoying squeal has become part of American culture……and the amazing thing….I like it all over again.

Everytime  You Go Away [Paul Young]—-Paul Young always had a sweet, sexy and sultry sound to his voice. He reminds me of a slight blues singer trapped in the wrong body. This track…..also recorded by 80’s darlings Hall & Oates, I think Young did a much better job. This always gives me that melancholy feel. A true vocal master.

Living On Radio [Trans X]—-Not incredibly familiar with this band for some reason, I have only heard the off track here and there. They seem to be almost pre-goth in the sound…..the vocal a bit distorted and rather dark. None the less, the song is damn danceable and rather contagious.

No Parking [Dazz Band]—-The 80’s allowed for a huge influx of R n’ B on the dance floor as well. Picking up where Disco left off, this music transported across class and color lines to make indelible hits. This track has all the flavor necessary to keep it in rotation even today.

Dancing In Heaven [LaDouce]—-This is a re-make of the original track, but plays just as well. Another track that had a huge impact on the dance floor and across color lines this was just pure fun….a bona fide hit before falling into obscurity.

Walking In L.A. [Missing Persons]—-Powered by great guitar playing and the irresistible squeak of Dale Bozzio’s voice, Missing Persons managed 3 or 4 top ten hits before the band disintegrated. This speaks to the L.A. culture and the music movement that was going on there at the time. I never get tired of this track. Exquisite!!!

I Got It Made [Special Ed]—-The 80’s were a simple time when it came to rap music. Most songs were all about money and flow style. The gang/crack wars were years away. Special Ed gave us a comfortable beat followed up with understandable vocals and a slight story to go along with the entire thing. Oh….such a simpler time!

Oh Sheila [Ready For The World]—-Formed from a conglomeration of artists, this was music simply made to dance too. The groove is infectious and manages to still stay stuck in your head after all these years with just one simple listen. Long live perfect pop music!!!

Fascinated [Company B]—-With a hype beat right from the onset, this track has a dated but distinct sound. The female vocal reminds me of Expose or one of those other generic bands….this is fun and relaxed….a great track to dance to!!! And might I mention….an irresistible chorus!

The Promise [When In Rome]—-Hands down, my favorite song from the 1980’s decade. This song has a nice soft air to it that can make you sad if you need it or jubilant if that is the mood you are in. The vocal is a classic 80’s sounding voice and the sentiment is never aging. I consider this particular song a masterpiece!!!

I Go To Work [Kool Moe Dee]—-Another rapper who made his major impact in the mid 80’s, Moe Dee scored a nice smash with this entire lp. The vocal is a bit more street and hood, but the message is simple and you can feel the groove for hours after you listen to it.

 

**** out of 5

The Essential 80’s vol. 1-5

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , on 190000006UTC 12 by marky7235

The 1980s saw the emergence of pop, dance music and New Wave. As the term disco fell out of fashion in the decade’s early years,[1] genres such as post-disco, Italo disco, Euro disco and dance-pop became more popular. Rock music continued to enjoy a wide audience; sub-genres such as New Wave,[2] soft rock,[3] and glam metal emerged and developed a significant following.[4] Adult contemporary,[5] quiet storm,[6] and smooth jazz gained popularity. The 1980s are commonly associated with the usage of synthesizers, thus, synthpop music and other electronic genres featuring non-traditional instruments exploded in popularity. Also during this decade, several major electronic genres were developed, including electro, techno, house, freestyle and Eurodance, rising in prominence during the 1990s and beyond. Throughout the decade, R&B, hip hop and urban music in general were becoming commonplace, particularly in the inner-city areas of large, metropolitan cities; rap was especially successful in the latter part of the decade,[7] with the advent of the golden age of hip hop. These urban genres, rap and hip hop particularly, would continue their rise in popularity through the 1990s and 2000s. A 2010 survey conducted by the digital broadcaster Music Choice, which polled over 11,000 participants, revealed that the 1980s is the most favored music decade of the last 50 years

Vol. 1 The Look Of Love [ABC]—-Forever suave and debonair in fancy suits and accompanied by horns, ABC left an indelible mark with this track. Full of slight movements, vocal blends and great percussion this remains one track from a fantastic release that will just not die.

The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades [Timbuk 3]—-What can I really say about this track….I hated it. Truly a one-hit wonder, this southern infused track got on my nerves and stayed there.

One Thing Leads To Another [The Fixx]—-Another band with a debonair look, Cy Curin was the master of cool with an unforgettable voice as well. With many of the songs relying on social issues, the band trudged through many releases and still tours on occasion. This is probably the biggest hit in the catalog….but by no means my favorite. Never gets old though!

Everyday Is Halloween [Ministry]—-This track from pre-Industrial Ministry is still a favorite of mine. It is amazing how a band can change in such a short time. Jorgensen still has that slight evil tone to his vocal, but this is classic dance all the way.

You Spin Me Round [Dead Or Alive]—-Full of Euro-Trash beats and tons of androgyny, this song was guaranteed to be a massive hit. The speed of the song is incredible and drove people to the dance floor around the world. There were more hits to follow, but nothing as massive as this track. It still sounds magnificent today!

Take Me Home Tonight [Eddie Money]—-Not really an essential 80’s track for me, I could take or leave Eddie Money. The song is much more of a straight up rock track without the familiar new wave flavor of many 80’s hits. It still lives on and Money always opens the outdoor music season in Detroit.

Naughty Naughty  [John Parr]—-Not really familiar with the title of this track, but the moment I heard it I felt right at home. Parr had a number of hits from popular teen movies, but managed to make an impact solo as well. The track has a nice rock/new wave mix to it that still works today!

What’s On Your Mind [Information Society]—-The epitome of a one hit wonder, this band, in all of their odd get-up costumes gave a whole new feel to electronic and synth music. Perhaps the band was meant to be visual…on record, the songs are just typical. Live, this band is killer!!!

Missing You [John Waite]—-This former lead vocalist for the 70’s band The Babys, Waite made a huge impact with his debut release and this lead-off single. The song provides a nice break from the constant swirl of 80’s synth and gives us a nice ballad to fall back on in those private moments. Waite has a killer voice and great stage persona.

I Ran [A Flock Of Seagulls]—-Taken from the playbook of MTV stars, this band had an odd look but also the chops to back it up. This contagious, spacy track was the first of many hits for the band before they imploded. The band has reformed from time to time…releasing a new CD about 5 years ago. The sound is the same and this track stands the test of time. Classic!!!

Sister Christian [Night Ranger]—-Reminding us that the 80’s decade was not all swirls and synths, Night Ranger put themselves on the map with this tear jerking ballad. It contains every element necessary…..great guitar….a sad sound and fantastic vocals.

The Roof Is On Fire [Rockmaster Scott & The Furious Three]—-The rap movement in the 80’s literally exploded….but was alive and well in the decade before. I’m not even sure this classic track was released in the 80’s but it still plays well today. The technology and realm of Rap has changed…but the basic formula remains. Flow and Hype!

I Want Candy [Bow Wow Wow]—-Sung by the 16-year-old mohawk Annabelle, this video made the song a bona fide hit all over the world. With classic 80’s sound and a bit of a punk attitude, the band was never able to follow the success of this track…but we have this forever to remember them by!

Tainted Love [Soft Cell]—-Perhaps one of the songs that literally defined the 80’s music movement, this song is still played everywhere and all ways. Remade and covered by dozens of people, no one can come close to the sound of Marc Almond’s distinct sound. This was and is a gay club staple….expect to hear it every time you venture out.

Lean On Me [Club Nouveau]—-Revamping this 60’s classic, Club Nouveau gave this track a whole new life. Filled with a slow, fun groove and a fun style I fell in love with this track from the first listen. The band managed to stick around for a bit, but fell into oblivion that is the 80’s. Still sounds great!

Desire [Gene Loves Jezebel]—-One of my favorite bands from across the pond, this band never received the US support that it deserved. These twin brothers managed a score of hits in Britain but were much more hit and miss here. This track is not an all time favorite, but still plays very well even today. The track has immense energy, a nice sexy feel and an unforgettable vocal.

Everybody’s Working For The Weekend [Loverboy]—-A classic working mans pop metal band, these guys toured endlessly to get the name known. A nice string of top ten hits kept them alive for quite sometime. This is a weekend song for sure…..reminds me of swimming, beer and girls. There you go….a perfect recipe!!!!

 

**** out of 5

 

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The Human League / Credo

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 200000007UTC 12 by marky7235

Credo

Credo is the ninth studio album by The Human League. It is their first studio album since Secrets in 2001.[1] It has been produced by fellow Sheffield act I Monster[2] and is released on Wall of Sound.

The first single from the album, “Night People” was released on 22 November 2010. Follow up single “Never Let Me Go” was released on 1 March 2011. “Egomaniac” was the second single in Germany, Austria and Switzerland because The Human League secured a slot on a major German TV show for a performance of ‘Egomaniac’. The TV programme aired on Friday 4 March and the single was released the same day. In those three territories the album itself was released on Friday 11 March in order to narrow the gap between the TV airing and the album being available. In the rest of the EU the album was released on Monday 21 March in order to narrow the gap between the release in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and the rest of the continent. The third single, “Sky” was released on 25 July 2011.

Credo was digitally released in the United States on August 16, 2011, with a physical release one week later.

The Analysis:

Never Let Me Go—-It is hard to believe that it has been 10 years since the release of Secrets, but from the opening strains of this first track, it seems now like yesterday! The synth lines are so damn familiar and comforting….Phil sounds ageless and the girls add their trademark vocals like they have never lived 30 years since we first heard them. This has a fantastic melody!!!! Simply wonderful!!

Sky—-This second single from the release, is yet another synth heavy but familiar sounding track that transports you back in time effortlessly. Oakey sounds so incredible with his deep baritone…the overdubs are fantastic and the ladies quip in here and there making it yet another classic track in an endless career of pure pop pleasure!!!

Into The Night—-This is brilliant…layered with nice synth lines that play over each other wonderfully well, but the song seems a bit empty to me…..lacking a true inspiration…..none the less, this is the League and the track is all you need it to be.

Egomaniac—-My favorite track on this release, this reminds me of all the best tracks from all the best releases. This is wonderfully produced…full of a deeper synth line and an energy that makes me want to dance for days. The underlying blips and beeps that are included makes this even more classic…a true return to form!!!

Single Minded—-Another of those tracks that seems more filler than inspiration, this is still delivered with fantastic instrumentation and allowing Oakey to sing in his higher tone which has always really made me smile! This is wonderful!!!

Privilege—-Deep and stripped almost bare, this has an almost mysterious and down trodden feel to the whole damn. The lyrics are fantastic and the overdubs of Oakey’s vocals are outstanding!!! A classic, different but wonderful track!

Breaking The Chains—-This begins a bit slow…making me wonder where this track was going…but once the chorus smacks you in the face, you will have a smile. this is infectious and full of pop hooks running through the whole song…this is brilliant!

When The Stars Start To Shine—-This has a marching vibe to this song….a bit of a muted vocal and a most infectious melody. Combine these together and you have yet another classic League track….I love the chanted chorus…..making you remember it for days after you hear it the first time…..this is magic!

Get Together—-A brilliant synth line begins this track and allows the entrance of Oakey and his melodic baritone. This is wonderfully brilliant…the girls add to the chorus and allows this track to become huge during the main chorus…this is brilliant!!!

Night People—-Although this lead off single never charted here in the States, I’m convinced it is brilliant none the less. This song moves!!! The synth line is delivered fast and at a frenzied pace…..with a contagious synth line that takes you back in time. The straight ‘clean’ vocal is so infectious. This is brilliant!!!

****1/2 out of 5

The Rapture / In The Grace Of Your Love

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 300000006UTC 12 by marky7235

In The Grace Of Your LoveIn the Grace of Your Love is the third full-length album by dance-punk band The Rapture and the first without former bassist Mattie Safer.[8] The album was released on September 2, 2011.[9] The album marks their return to DFA Records after leaving Universal Music Group.[10] The cover features a picture of band member Luke Jenner’s father.

The Analysis:

Sail Away—-At the very onset of the track, that familiar voice comes out of the silence and comforts you….the beats add layer upon layer…becoming a magnificent solemn dance track that is full of emotion and a remarkable underlying energy. This is a magnificent start…..this has an EPIC synth line!!!!

Miss You—-Beginning a bit more sedate, the bass line that leads in the track sets the tone for the entire track. This is a bit more of a punky track at the onset…..the attitude is incredible. The synth line enters and travels me back in time to the 80’s with little effort. The vocal is amazing…sounding much thinner than the previous track…but conveying the sentiment wonderfully well!!!!

Blue Bird—-These tracks seem to start so suddenly…..little or no introduction!!!! This has an even more energetic and fast tempo than anything thus far on this release…the beginning drums are wonderful. the track takes a wonderful spacy turn that reminds me of beginning Stone Roses…..this is really a favorite track of mine…the layers and layers of sound are incredible….it makes the song small……but HUGE!!!!

Come Back To Me—-This really has never resonated with me….it is not a bad track, but it offers to much of what I have heard before. I like the vocal…but the stripped down instrumentation leaves me a bit hollow……

Grace—-returning to a nice 80’s inspired synth lead in, this resonated with me right away!!!! I love the vocal….this is incredible…the histrionics give me chills…there is an almost laid back reggae beat to this track……got in my head months ago…and has never left…..this is a favorite band of mine…so versatile and real!!!!

Never Die Again—-Energetic…..with a slight punk influence…but full of 80’s style synth lines….can a human being ask for more or try to write more? I think not……marvelous!!!!

Roller Coaster—-Yet another amazing track…full of rather mundane lyrics…but the energy and the feel of the song are incredible….as the song progresses. the words sink in a bit and the track becomes more meaningful to me…this is exquisite…I love the mood of the song…amazing…..I really like this band!!!!

Children—-Rather laid back and with a slight retro feel, this is a fantastic track. There are nice layers to this song as well…..the synth line leads the song…but the vocal overlays makes the song much larger. The drums are present and the cymbal taps make it extraordinary…..this is energetic…fun and also though provoking…….I love this!!!

Find A Way—-Really not a favorite track of mine, it is a bit erratic for me…the saving grace is the almost Duran Duran inspired synth line that runs through the track and adds energy to the delivery. The vocal is nice…the double style really appeals to me…..I like this…but it has been done many times before…..

How Deep Is Your Love?—-The lead off single for this release…..and a damn magnificent song….this is a favorite and will be for a very long time! This is energetic….danceable and has a synth line to die for…..I am amazed at the talent of this band…eventually people will wake up and catch on…..this is an amazing band!!!!

Take Time To Be A Man—-Interesting at the onset, this has a slight jazz edge to it that includes the Blues and a Orleans style of slow delivery…..not sure what that is all about…but the lyrics are outstanding…..so it makes the song a triumph for me!!!! Wonderful.

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]

 

Madonna / MDNA

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 30000006UTC 12 by marky7235

MDNA

MDNA is the twelfth studio album by American recording artist Madonna, first released on March 23, 2012 by Interscope Records. It is also Madonna’s first album not to be associated with Warner Bros. Records, the label she was signed to since 1982. As well as Madonna producing the album she worked with a variety of producers such as Alle Benassi, Benny Benassi, Demolition Crew, Free School, Michael Malih, Indiigo, William Orbit, Martin Solveig.

The album received generally positive reviews from music critics. Upon its release, it debuted at number one in many countries worldwide, including Australia, Canada, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. Madonna set a new record for the most number-one albums by a solo artist in Australia and the United Kingdom, but also achieved the largest second-week percentage sales drop for a number-one debuting album of the Nielsen SoundScan era in the United States.

The album’s lead single, “Give Me All Your Luvin’“, was released on February 3, 2012. The single became her 38th top-ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100, extending her record as the artist with most top-ten singles in that chart’s history. The second single “Girl Gone Wild” was released digitally on March 2, 2012. Prior to the album’s release, Madonna performed at the Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show on February 4, 2012. The album is promoted by her MDNA Tour.

The Analysis:

Girl Gone Wild—-You have to love the intro to this track…..it all hearkens back to the glory days of the original master! The beats on this track are classic…the slow ebb and the heavy bass…the magical way it ebbs and flows…with the slight french influence. this is a classic Madonna track….it will remain one of my favorites for quite sometime….her voice sounds as youthful and as full of energy as it ever has…and it just proves she still has her finger on the pulse of modern dance music!

Gang Bang—-Only Madge could get away with a song title such as this!!! The track begins with an almost apocalyptic feel……Madonna delivers a vocal that is pushed far to the back of the mix filled with lots of echo…nice production!!!! The track is not as necessarily catchy life the previous…but it is still genius…..showing again the genius of the artist…this is not a favorite…but not a throwaway by any means either!

I’m Addicted—-Full of a deeper house sound and lots of erratic keyboards, it still allows the vocal to really be in the front of the mix. This is another throwback classic track….the fans would expect nothing less. The way the song builds and builds and then ebbs is so reminiscent of 90’s classic by the First lady….the song..to me, shows relevance and a continued drive…I love this!

Turn Up The Radio—-It has been a long time it seems since i have such a pure vocal from Madonna…..this is brilliant and perhaps my favorite track on this release…..the voice is left pure and alone and never, ever falters…still carrying the slight child like voice that made her famous to begin with. The instrumentation is high energy and full of effects, but it is simply the voice that carries this song…this is damn near brilliant!!!!

Give Me All Your Luvvin’—-I must say it…..I don’t understand this track…I don’t like this track….but every release has one of those. I only listen to it for MIA!!!!

Some Girls—-Returning to more modern and almost Dub oriented sound, this is another favorite track of mine…if only for the DEEP sound of energy. I love the way the song magically switches….between a deep experimental sound to a more conventional ‘clean vocal’ and then back to a robotic distorted sound. This is energetic and hypnotic….I’m sure the clubs are thumpin’ this track…as it should be….a magical fun track!

Superstar—-I am wonderfully enamored with this track…it reminds me of the classic and glory days of Madge and convinces me that she is still dedicated to her craft. This is energetic…full of classic Madonna sentiments and phrases…a cleaner vocal and a damn catchy chorus that will live in your brain for weeks at a time. This is brilliance…I love this return to form!!!! Wonderful!!!

I Don’t Give A—-This is just a FUN track…reminding me of the classic stuff Madge did with Jellybean…..the beats and breaks are SHARP and there is a noise involved that I find ver attractive. This is brilliant…the delivery is rapid fire…the melody is catchy as hell and I want to sing it over and over in my brain all day. This is wonderful…fantastic and damn near brilliant. And Nicki….is pretty brilliant!

I’m A Sinner—-Another track that surprised me…simply because of the unadulterated vocal that Madge delivers. The voice is amazingly pure as it was at the beginning….she sounds 20…is it possible Madonna is 50!!!!???? The music hearkens back a few releases ago…but it works with the whole flow of the CD….thank God for great production…this is a masterpiece…catchy as hell!!!!

Love Spent—- Odd from the very onset…it is exciting at the same time. The track quickly looses the oddity and becomes a rather generic track….kind of surprised me….not really a favorite track…I would have preferred something more deep and intense at this point…but it is as it is!

Masterpiece—-Allowing a bit of a respite, this is a much-needed and thirsted for track…the sound is deep intense and sad…reminding us how much the woman has been through in the past few years. This is a beautiful and wonderfully revealing track…..just what I needed…..the hurt of love betrayed…..

Falling Free—-rounding out the release with a rather magnificent orchestrated track, Madonna delivers a vocal full of pain and real betrayal. I sit back and listen….and examine the word FREE which is repeated over and over through the song…..reminding me that despite fame and fortune…..free is the same to me as it is to her. hurt is universal…..interesting!

****1/2 out of 5

Erasure / Tomorrow’s World

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 2600000010UTC 12 by marky7235

Tomorrow's World

Tomorrow’s World is the fourteenth studio album by English synthpop duo Erasure. The album was released through Mute Records[2] on 3 October 2011 in the UK, and 11 October 2011 in North America.[3]

Tomorrow’s World was written in New York, London, and at Vince Clarke’s cabin studio in Maine, between January and June 2011, following Erasure’s short break, which found Andy Bell recording and releasing his second solo album Non-Stop, and Vince Clarke reuniting with former Yazoo partner Alison Moyet for the Reconnected tour. Clarke used his vintage collection of analog synths for the final touches. All songs are written by Bell and Clarke.[2]

The album was produced by Frankmusik and mixed by Rob Orton, who has previously remixed other well-known electronic artists such as Lady Gaga and Pet Shop Boys.

The first single from the album was “When I Start To (Break It All Down)”, which was released on 23 September 2011.[4] It received its first UK airplay on BBC Radio 2’s Ken Bruce show.

The Analysis:

Be With You—-Despite the time-lapse and the separate projects this duo are involved in, it is obvious from the first listen that this is a partnership that separation cannot separate. This is a lead off track that makes you feel comfortable and warm all over…as if the band has never been apart. Andy delivers vocals that are classic and the synth power of Clarke is in full form. This is a masterpiece of a track!

Fill Us With Fire—-Reminding me at the onset of a track that belonged on the Erasure release, the tempo magically changes when Bell open his mouth. this is driving and full of the classic dance.disco sounds that made this band HUGE. The sound is a bit more sedate and matches the lower register that Andy has taken on, but still manages to maintain the magic that this band has always had. this is perhaps one of the best Erasure releases in the past 10 years….very nice!!! And this will play live like magic!

You’ve Got To Save Me Right Now—-Vince Clarke has the magical ability to wrap his driving synth around the vocal of Andy Bell in a masterful way…much like he did with the blues driven vocal of Moyet. This is a surprisingly wonderful song….not one of my favorites. but it manages to break up the release with a fantastic differential that is always needed…..great production I think!

What Will I Say When You’re Gone?—-Another of those tracks that you wonder how this duo manages to create into a masterpiece so well…the synths are unique and all over the place while Bell delivers a rather sedate vocal…but when it comes together it is a landscape of emotions and energy. The bombast flows in and out…quiet at times and very loud at others…all the whole delivering a melody that sticks in your brain and refuses to leave you alone…yuet another masterful and unforgettable Erasure track!

A Whole Lotta Love Run Riot—-Kudos for the title of the song alone!!!! This is a building track that comes from the quiet and seems to get bigger and bigger…this is phenomenal and remains one of my favorite tracks on this release…if this does not remind you of the old days, there is something wrong with your memory. Bell has never sounded better and the driving synths from Clarke reminds you that he is true to his sound and vision and that it has never diminished from the Depeche days…..this is fantastic!

I Lose Myself—-This is another of those songs that seems to be built around the sometimes blues vocal tones that Bell manages to deliver ala Moyet. How funny for this band to even mention something about Rock N’ Roll……this is layered and full of deep house sounds that you have not heard from this band in quite sometime…a true return to form, it is nice to know that despite his status Bell has managed to keep his voice….I am still amazed that he tours the way he does…makes me feel a bit inadequate!!!

When I Start To [Break It All Down]—-From the very onset of this single, the lead off from this release, you know that this is a true return to fame. There is no doubt that this duo is very in tune with each other. Bell delivers a vocal that is as good as anything on chorus or other ensuing release. The falsetto is very much in tact as to where it was 10 or 15 years ago….this is magnificent and could not be a better lead off single!!!

Then I Go Twisting—-Once again, from the very onset, Clarke makes himself heard loud and clear. There may be talk of sickness of Techno…but the sound is very much alive and delivered with finesse. Andy says he does not want to let us down….and he does not! This is high energy that allows for both an emotional feel and a dance floor stomper that will play very well tomorrow or in 10 years from now…..a classic that I appreciate now…some might appreciate later!!! Tremendous!

Just When I Thought It Was Ending—-Ending this rather short release…clocking in at just 31 minutes, Bell delivers a more sedate a deeper tone to his voice. The emotive quality is pretty fantastic though…there are some fantastic overlays that make me smile…reminding me of some of the glory days. This will play so well live with the entourage of live singers that the band manages to carry with them…a nice cool down track, this is perfect!

**** out of 5 [For Length Only]