May 30, 2019

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Crush (1985)

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Pop
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© 1985 A&M Records
AllMusic Review by Dave Connolly
The lightweight synthesizer pop of Crush represents a nearly complete reinvention of the band's original ideals, trading in the influence of Ultravox and Kraftwerk for the more contemporary fare offered up by The The, Howard Jones, et al. From a commercial standpoint, the move paid off, breaking the band into the U.S. Top 40 on the strength of singles like "So in Love" and "Secret." Anyone looking for signs of OMD's original identity, however, will have to settle for "Joan of Arc" rewritten as a pop song ("La Femme Accident," arguably the album's most pleasant moment), some interesting patterns on "Crush" and "The Lights Are Going Out" that recall Dazzle Ships, the relatively edgy "88 Seconds in Greensboro," and shades of Brian Eno's "Third Uncle" on "The Native Daughters of the Golden West." Switching horses in midstream does allow OMD to cultivate a new audience without losing their U.K. listeners, but it also invites the suggestion that Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys were stylemongers rather than electronic visionaries. Producer Stephen Hague keeps the arrangements clean and simple, so much so that it's difficult to hear what (if anything) Martin Cooper and Malcolm Holmes contribute to the final product. Unfortunately, given the lyrics on this album, OMD picked the wrong time to be intelligible (and including a lyric sheet is just begging for trouble). The words to "Crush," "Bloc Bloc Bloc," "Hold On," and "Secret" reveal that melodies really are their strong suit. Crush offers very little of substance; maybe that's always been the case with OMD, and earlier albums simply masked it better by taking the road less traveled.

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ABC - How To Be a... Zillionaire! (1985)

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Pop
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© 1985 Mercury/Phonogram
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Moving away from the guitar histrionics of Beauty Stab, Martin Fry reduced ABC to a duo of himself and Mark White for 1985's danceable How to Be a...Zillionaire! Incorporating light hip-hop rhythms, ABC made sure Zillionaire sounded contemporary for mid-'80s dance clubs, and as a result, some of the record sounds stiff and dated. Still, when Fry's sense of melody is on, as on the catchy single "Be Near Me," or when he works in his vicious, cynical wit, as on "How to Be a Millionaire" and "So Hip It Hurts," the record rivals the peaks of Lexicon of Love.

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ABC - Alphabet City (1987)

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Pop
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© 1987 Mercury Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Returning to the Motown and Northern soul that provided the basis of their debut album, ABC turned to the pop songcraft on their fifth album, Alphabet City. The increased songcraft is certainly engaging, particularly on the hit "When Smokey Sings," but the songs are usually indistinguishable from each other, resulting in a sleek, stylish, and thoroughly entertaining album that leaves no lasting memory.

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Econoline Crush - Affliction (1995)

Country: Canada
Language: English
Genre: Industrial Rock
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© 1995 Nettwerk
AllMusic Review by Vincent Jeffries
Sounding something like a mechanized, tame version of countrymen Tea Party, Econoline Crush dropped their sophomore outing in 1995 for EMI Canada as well as Nettwerk Records in the States. Similar to the group's other efforts, Affliction accents the more repetitive qualities of industrial- and pop-flavored alt-rock. The resulting "Nine Inch Pilots" amalgam is tuneful, if not entirely gratifying. The derivative title cut, "Blunt," and many others eclipse more promising numbers like the post-punk-influenced "Close." Vague lyrics are confused with stark poetry in a vain attempt to approximate influential '90s rockers like Nirvana, contributing to a manufactured, antiseptic tone on Affliction. Aggro-alternative completists might enjoy this release, as it is Econoline Crush's darkest and heaviest, but fans left unenthused by the slew of post-Downward Spiral also-rans needn't bother with this Canadian industrial export.

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Econoline Crush - The Devil You Know (1997)

Country: Canada
Language: English
Genre: Industrial Rock
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© 1997 Restless Records
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato
On Econoline Crush's third full-length, The Devil You Know, the band has issued their best album yet. It could very well prove to be their big U.S. breakthrough (they're already stars in Canada), since the majority of the tracks would fit very nicely on late-'90s alternative radio. On past E.C. albums, the lyrical subject matter was often message-oriented, and this is no exception. Singer Trevor Hurst's lyrics tackle such serious topics as AIDS, friends who betray, and doomed personal relationships. Producer Sylvia Massey (Prince, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tool, etc.) helped the band improve their textured rock, which makes the songs' melodic hooks even sharper. After hearing the leadoff track "Surefire," and you'll know the style that Econonline Crush specializes in -- buzzing guitars, frenetic drumming, vocals that alternate between sung and screamed, and subtle electronic experiments. And there are plenty of other compositions that meet the former's standards: the explosive dance-rocker "Sparkle and Shine," the melodic, almost Prodigy-like "Home," and the overtly aggressive "Burnt."

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Econoline Crush - Brand New History (2001)

Country: Canada
Language: English
Genre: Industrial Rock, Post Grunge
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© 2001 Restless Records
AllMusic Review by Don Kline
After receiving a nomination for a Juno award (the Canadian equivalent of an American Grammy award) for their debut album, Purge, Econoline Crush released The Devil You Know, a dynamic follow-up which quickly went gold in their native Canada. Following its release, the band began rehearsing for their U.S. tour and readied themselves to compete with the Filter's and Stabbing Westward's of America. Unfortunately, the success they enjoyed in their homeland didn't follow them stateside, despite the addition of the video for "Home" to MTV's "Buzz Bin." Three years later, the band enlisted legendary producer Bob Rock (Metallica, Mötley Crüe, Aerosmith) and DJ Swamp (Beck) to help them craft an even more accessible blend of industrial rock and pop for Brand New History. Although the lyrics on the album ring a bit too familiar with those from the band's past releases, Brand New History proves to be a solid musical affair. While "Make It Right," "You Don't Know What It's Like," and "Flamethrower" take full advantage of Rock's experience in producing hard rock's elite, slower cuts like "By the Riverside" (co-written by former Nine Inch Nails drummer/producer Chris Vrenna) also entertain while serving to pace the album. Although they haven't strayed too far from the foundation they laid on The Devil You Know and Purge, Econoline Crush has returned with a strong follow-up that showcases their more polished performance and improved songwriting.

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May 29, 2019

Toni Braxton - Libra (2005)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: R&B
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© 2005 Blackground Records
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman
Libra marks Toni Braxton's departure from Arista, her longtime label. It was a stormy relationship that ended with the fast death of 2002's fine More Than a Woman. Only one Neptunes-produced single was spun off from it, which peaked somewhere in the eighties of the Hot 100. Half a year after the album's release, Braxton was off Arista and on the Universal-distributed Blackground, but Libra didn't surface until fall of 2005. (Granted, Braxton's no stranger to protracted gaps in her release schedule.) Libra offers no surprises. It's lean and balanced, just like all other Braxton albums, though too many songs are tepid and merely functional for background listening, so it winds up a safe distance from the likes of the self-titled debut and Secrets. "Take This Ring," produced by Rich Harrison, adds some unexpected rambunctiousness, yet it's about one-tenth as exciting as Amerie's like-sounding "1 Thing" (also Harrison's work). Beyond the obvious single choices -- produced by big names like Scott Storch and Bryan-Michael Cox -- two songs handled by the Underdogs' Antonio Dixon ("Sposed to Be" and "Finally") are as sublime and plush as any other pair in Braxton's catalog. Although this is her spottiest album to date, her fans shouldn't have any trouble appreciating it.

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May 28, 2019

Re-Flex - The Politics of Dancing (1983)

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: New Wave
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© 1983-1993 One Way/CEMA Special Markets
AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook
Taking a back seat to first-tier new wave dance acts like ABC, Spandau Ballet, and Visage, Re-Flex lasted long enough for this breakthrough debut and one career-ending follow-up. Enlisting producer John Punter of Roxy Music and Japan fame, the band come up with something of a new wave smorgasbord on The Politics of Dancing: the mix veers from hyper, synth-ridden dance cuts and smoothly sophisticated pop, to Gary Numan-inspired excursions and disco-fied new wave. Even with the admirable breadth, though, the album is mostly a bland array of robotic bass and drums, effects-riddled guitars, and annoying keyboard accents. To the band's credit, the songwriting is impressive at times, especially on the title track and "Hitline," and lead singer Baxter's vocals are admirable in their own, Bowie-rehashed way. The album's future cutout-bin status, though, was sealed with aimless funk like "Jungle" and the Toto-aping MOR of "Sensitive." Approach with tongue firmly in cheek.

tags: reflex, re-flex, the politics of dancing, 1983, flac,

The Outfield - Play Deep (1985)

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Pop Rock
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© 1985 Columbia Records
AllMusic Review by Mike DeGagne
Play Deep, the Outfield's debut album, contains a couple of singles that settled quite nicely into mid-'80s radio. Guided by Tony Lewis' airborne vocals and John Spinks' regimented guitar bluster, they managed to place two of the album's best songs within Billboard's Top 20. "Your Love" made it all the way to the number six spot in March of 1986, thanks to Lewis' high-pitched holler that dominates the opening of the song and a harmonious chorus that is overly smooth and rock savvy. Peaking at number 19 four months later, "All the Love in the World" is an unblemished rock tune with an effectively echoed vocal track, again highlighting the band's sweet-sounding consonance mixed in with rugged guitar work. The uncharted material sounds just as fluent and is anything but filler, especially efforts like "Say It Isn't So" and "I Don't Need Her," along with slower songs like "Everytime You Cry." Play Deep is a worthy first release from this British trio, led by a novel guitar and vocal concoction

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The Outfield - Voices of Babylon (1989)

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Pop Rock
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© 1989 CBS Records
AllMusic Review by Doug Stone
The world quit listening, but the Outfield continued to make tight, glistening pop records. Even though hook virtuoso John Spinks tries for lyrical content that digs deeper than Josie leaving on a vacation far away, all that matters is that Voices of Babylon showcases sharp harmonies, crackling guitar, and the always remarkable vocals of Tony Lewis. Thus, the Outfield recedes into history as yet another shining power pop band unjustly ignored and lost forever. 'Tis truly tragedy worthy of the Bard himself.

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Damageplan - New Found Power (2004)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Groove Metal
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© 2004 Elektra Records
AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus
Post-Pantera, Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul have hooked up with bassist Bob Zilla (aka Bob Kakaha) and vocalist Pat Lachman (Diesel Machine, Halford) for Damageplan, a shaped charge packed with the shrapnel of 21st century metal. Using Dime and Vinnie's infamously gluttonous groove as an adhesive, New Found Power plows through a mostly entertaining aggro-metal slag heap of berserk thrash workouts and melodic post-grunge, the style pile topped with the rusted-out hunks of death and trad-metal. (Underscoring the latter, Zakk Wylde's wind-whipping gonzo solos appear on two tracks). Previously known only as a guitarist, Lachman turns out to be a pretty strong frontman. He matches wits ably with Dimebag's spiky guitar woops during the opening jab and hook of "Wake Up" and "Breathing New Life," and really hits his stride with the galloping double bass and ripping, Deftones-style screed of the title track. "New Found Power" seems to be the new configuration's mantra, as Lachman bellows "It's time to rip the chain from your neck/Let go the past as you purge" with scary conviction. Damageplan seems especially determined to loosen the irons that bind them to the Pantera anvil, as New Found Power continually plays its more pummeling side of tracks that reference the tried and true plod of grunge, or that movement's post-millennial residue. The introspective "Pride" and half-time shred of "Moment of Truth" reach all the way back to early-'90s Seattle, while "Save Me" and "Blink of an Eye" represent that sound as it exists in the present, marrying tortured soul searching to slight touches of electronic programming and hard-hitting, but ultimately simplistic riffs. Damageplan's seething intensity never falters, from New Found Power's explosive cover art to the album's punishing production. But the smash 'n' grab stylistics of cuts like "Blunt Force Trauma," and the aforementioned "Pride" push them pretty close to the increasingly homogenous post-grunge pack. Fortunately, New Found Power never slips over that precipice. There's too much solid material here, from the bone-snapping metalcore of "Fuck You" (with Slipknot's Corey Taylor helping out), to "Explode," which features some of Dimebag and Vinnie's strongest collaborative work. Damageplan has a bit of jelling to do, but that should come with touring. In the meantime, New Found Power is a blazing new beginning.

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May 27, 2019

Concrete Blonde - Concrete Blonde (1987)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Rock
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© 1987 I.R.S. Records
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
With the addition of a new drummer, Jim Mankey and Johnette Napolitano's Dream 6 became Concrete Blonde, but the changes did nothing to bring musical focus to the partnership. When this debut album was released, IRS Records emphasized the track "Still in Hollywood," financing a video and promoting it to radio. The song borders on punk rock, as Mankey repeats the same riff over and over and Napolitano spits out the angry lyric like Exene Cervenka (except, of course, she is careful to stay on-key). But the song's message is confused: Most aspiring stars try to get to Hollywood, no? Even more confused is the multiplicity of musical styles that demonstrated that Concrete Blonde's main characteristic was ambition, not talent. Napolitano didn't much care if she became the next Chrissie Hynde or the next Pat Benatar, as long as she became the next something

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Concrete Blonde - Free (1989)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Rock
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© 1989 I.R.S. Records
AllMusic Review by Tom Demalon
Concrete Blonde beefed up their lineup by adding a second guitarist, Alan Block, for 1989's Free. Like their self-titled debut release, the L.A.-based band focuses on the dark side of modern life, but they also intersperse a few lighter songs into the mix with good results. Free also found the band producing themselves. The grinding guitars and lead singer Johnette Napolitano's passionate vocals made the searing "God Is a Bullet" a college radio hit. "Roses Grow" is an interesting track with Napolitano making barstool observations over a metallic drumbeat. It is the lighter moments on the album that really shine, though, like the gentle warmth of the optimistic "Sun" and "Happy Birthday," a jangly pop rocker. The band also takes a stab at Thin Lizzy's "It's Only Money." Free shows a considerable amount of growth in both the songwriting and playing of their debut and makes it a worthwhile follow-up.

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Concrete Blonde - Walking In London (1992)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Rock
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© 1992 I.R.S. Records
AllMusic Review by Tom Demalon
Concrete Blonde followed up their gold record Bloodletting, containing the left-field hit "Joey," with this 1992 release. Walking in London, the band's fourth album, was produced by the band along with Chris Tsangarides and includes guest musicians Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick on bass and Wall of Voodoo's Andy Prieboy on vocals. Johnette Napolitano is in fine voice on Walking in London and the playing is as inspired as ever with original drummer Harry Rushakoff rejoining the band. However, the album reprises many themes from earlier albums with less satisfying results such as the vignette on urban life, "City Screaming." That said, there are some inspired moments. The leadoff track and single, "Ghost of a Texas Ladies' Man," is a hyperkinetic ghost story with eerie vocals and alterna-twang guitar. Both "Someday" and "Long Time Ago" are both slices of bright, singalong pop with an alternative bent. They also succeed on the gorgeous ballad "Les Ceours Jumeaux." Accordion adds to the romantic feel created by the lush background vocals and bilingual lyrics. Overall, a good record but not nearly as pleasing as its breakthrough predecessor

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Concrete Blonde - Mexican Moon (1993)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Rock, Alternative Rock
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© 1993 Capitol/I.R.S. Records
AllMusic Review by Tom Demalon
After the demise of their original label, I.R.S., Concrete Blonde released Mexican Moon on Capitol in the fall of 1993. The band, once again, produced themselves with Sean Freehill, and Paul Thompson returned to the fold on drums after sitting out Walking in London due to immigration problems.
The album is a striking marriage of Johnette Napolitano's dark, lyrical imagery and the band's alternative-tinged pop sensibilities making it, perhaps, their most fully realized effort. "Jenny I Read" kicks things off with the tale of a chance encounter of a fallen, reclusive starlet. Guitarist James Mankey shows versatility playing acoustic and Spanish guitar on the dreamy title track and the wah-wah effects of the brooding "Jesus Forgive Me (For the Things I'm About to Say)." "Heal It Up" was the unsuccessful single but is a bracing number with a ferocious vocal performance by Napolitano. Despite the inspired playing, intelligent and insightful lyrics, and the crisp production, Mexican Moon failed to expand the group's audience and would prove to be their last release before breaking up.

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Longpigs - The Sun Is Often Out (1996)

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Alternative Rock
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© 1996 Mother Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
The Longpigs' debut album The Sun Is Often Out is an ambitious, darkly romantic album that owes quite a bit to the modernized anthem-rock of Radiohead. Although the band doesn't quite have Radiohead's talent for making the bombastic seem utterly personal, there are several moments of brilliance on the album -- particularly the singles "Far," "She Said" and "On and On" -- suggesting that their appealingly neo-gothic sonic textures will develop into something distinctive on their second album.

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May 26, 2019

Falco - Einzelhaft (1982)

Country: Austria
Language: German (Deutsch)
Genre: New Wave
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© 1982-1990 TELDEC
Review by Chris Auman Reglar Wiglar.com
Falco may be familiar to those of a certain age who remember being bombarded by “Rock Me Amadeus” circa 1986. As a result of that shelling, we can be forgiven for being a little shell-shocked by his somewhat ridiculous attempt at white boy rap. In the mid 80s, rap music was hardly the commercially or critically accepted force that it is today, and yet here was this Austrian dude with one name “rapping” about Mozart. Like Mozart, Falco was a little ahead of his tim as Rob Van Winkle wouldn’t corner the Anglo-Saxon rap game until four years later. (I put the Beastie Boys in a different category for what should be obvious reasons.)
All that aside, Einzelhaft is Falco’s 1982 debut album. Apparently einzelhaft means “solitary confinement” which could possibly explain the album cover which shows Falco relaxing in a chair in a room illuminated only by the light emanating from a single, high-placed window (leading us to wonder, Who is this mysterious Falco and why is he alone in that room sitting on a chair?).
The record starts with “Zuviel Hitze” which is kind of a lackluster way to kick off a record, in my opinion. Maybe the lyrics make up for the mediocrity of the music. Don’t know, don’t speak German, but it is a bit of a let down—not that I had terribly high hopes, mind you.
“Der Kommissar” rocks it like Amadeus, of course. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard the After the Fire cover version (an early MTV staple and the only U.S. hit for those Brits) but Falco’s original is surely the better of the two.
“Siebzehn Jahr” is kind of a groovy rocker featuring a little saxophone interlude, as was fairly common in the 80s before some bands overused it and Clarence Clemmons kinda bludgeoned us in the head with it.
“Auf der Flucht”; don’t know what der flucht this one is about but it’s the most New Wavey track on the record with Falco doing his best Andy Partridge (of XTC) imitation. Not bad. A little jazzed-up guitar makes
“Hinter Uns Die Sintflut” one of the jazzier numbers—jazzy like your aunt might think your sweater is real “jazzy”.
“Nie Mehr Schule” (never more school?) is a beer hall sing-along with a horn section and a rousing chorus where one can imagine large steins of beer being hoisted into the air. I’d like to sing along too, but again, the German thing, don't speak it.
“Helden Von Heute” is a straight-up pop tune worthy of radio play in any number of decades. Like the lead off track on the a-side, the title track “Einzelhaft” is the mediocre bookend to the record.
It’s interesting to me that on the album liner notes the “musik” is credited to Robert Ponger with Falco getting credit for just the lyrics. Falco also doesn’t seem to have played any instruments on this record either. No writing or performing credits other than lyrics and vocals for Falco and yet the album was released under "Falco" and not "Falco and Ponger," (which I think has a certain ring to it, by the way). That seems a little fucked, Falco. Anyway, at a buck and a quarter, Einzelhaft, is a decent enough 80s pop record and a minor musical artifact to be worth it at slightly less than twice the price.
On a sad note, Johann (Hans) Hölzel aka Falco, died in a car accident in 1998 at the age of 40.

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Toni Braxton - Secrets (1996) ⚓

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: R&B
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© 1996 LaFace Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Toni Braxton's second album, Secrets, follows through on the promise of her eponymous debut. Like her first album, the majority of Secrets was co-produced by Babyface and his partner L.A. Reid, while the material is divided between songs written by outside songwriters like R. Kelly, Tony Rich, and Diane Warren and originals by Braxton and Babyface. Braxton and Babyface's collaborations are the highlights of the album, combining rich melodies and gorgeous choruses with subtle, clever lyrics that are never laced with clichés. Nearly equalling the original numbers are contributions by Tony Rich ("Come On Over Here") and R. Kelly ("I Don't Want To"); with these tracks, both musicians demonstrate why they are considered two of the top songwriters in '90s R&B and soul. Secrets does have a couple of weak moments. The numbers produced by David Foster are too predictable in their slick commercial appeal, but Braxton manages to infuse the songs with life and passion that elevates them beyond their generic confines. And her vocal talent is what unites Secrets and makes it into a first-rate contemporary R&B collection. Braxton is a singer who can cross over into the smooth confines of adult contemporary radio without losing or betraying the soul that lies at the foundation of her music, and her talent burns at its brightest on Secrets.

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Toni Braxton - The Heat (2000) ☠

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: R&B
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 2000 LaFace Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Toni Braxton went through a lot in the years separating her star-making Toni Braxton and her 2000 comeback The Heat. Yes, she became a star, but she also went through a painful bankruptcy that delayed her sequel for years. Fortunately, you wouldn't be able to tell that there was so much behind-the-scenes drama from The Heat -- it's a confident, assured, sexy effort that reaffirms Braxton's status as one of the finest contemporary mainstream soul singers. She may not be as street-smart as Mary J. Blige, nor does she push the boundaries of the genre the way TLC does, but she has a full, rich voice that instantly lends her songs a sense of maturity and sensuality, especially since she never, ever oversings or misjudges her material. And, while that material can occasionally be a little generic, much of The Heat is built on solid ballads and smoldering, mid-tempo dance numbers. Producers as diverse as Babyface, Rodney Jerkins, Daryl Simmons, Teddy Bishop, and David Foster are responsible for various tracks on the album, which is typical for a big-budget, superstar release like this, but rarely are the tracks quite as consistent and cohesive as they are here. The skittering beats of "He Wasn't Man Enough" and "Gimme Some" are every bit as effective as the simmering title track or ballads "I'm Still Breathing" and "Spanish Guitar" -- or "Just Be a Man About It," an instant classic telephone breakup song, with Dr. Dre playing the wayward lover breaking the news to Ms. Braxton. True, The Heat slightly runs out of momentum toward the end, but there aren't many dull spots on the record -- it's all stylish, sultry, seductive, appealing urban contemporary soul that confirms Braxton's prodigious talents

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Bronski Beat - The Age of Consent (1984) ☠

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Synth Pop
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 1984 MCA Records
AllMusic Review by John Dougan
To say The Age of Consent is a great album of dance-oriented synth-pop music is to sell it extremely short; this is simply a great album, period. Jimmy Somerville's soaring tenor may take some getting used to, but the songs, many of them dealing with homophobia and alienation (none more eloquently than "Smalltown Boy"), are compelling vignettes about the vagaries of life as a gay man. Cynics predisposed to dismissing entire genres of music based on trendiness or a limited appeal ("dance music is for dancing, not listening") miss the point in lumping this in with more mindless forays into techno or neo-disco. As the Pet Shop Boys (the world's greatest disco band) proved a few years later, you can have substantive content and wrap it up in a compelling, visceral, dance-oriented package. Few bands understood this better, or earlier, than Bronski Beat

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The Sisters of Mercy - Lucretia My Reflection (3 Inch CD Single) (1988) ☠

*2 track CD single release. This single contains the extended version of "Lucretia My Reflection" and the track "Long Train" from 1984.

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: New Wave, Gothic Rock
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 1988 Merciful Release
*No professional reviews available for this release.

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Missing Persons - Spring Session M (1995 Reissue) ☠

*Reissued in 1995 by One Way/CEMA Special Markets. This reissue contains 2 bonus tracks with 14 tracks total.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: New Wave
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 1982-1995 One Way/CEMA Special Markets
AllMusic Review by Evan Cater
In 1982, Missing Persons established themselves on the new wave pop scene by loading up their hair with shocking pink dye and enough hairspray to tear a hole in the ozone layer big enough to poke a small parking garage through, programming a few synthesizers to play hyper dance-pop, scrambling their band name into Spring Session M, and scrawling those words across the jacket of their first full length record. The band scored one hit single from the album, "Walking in L.A.," which is the catchiest effort on the record. The two singles from their self-titled debut EP, "Destination Unknown" and "Words," are both tolerable. But the rest of Spring Session M is somewhat overwhelmed by the Cyndi Lauper screechiness of lead singer Dale Bozzio's vocals, Warren Cuccurullo's wailing guitars, and the relentless chirpiness of the keyboards and synthesizers, of which there are so many that it took three band members (Terry Bozzio, Chuck Wild, and Patrick O'Hearn) to manage them all.

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Men Without Hats - Rhythm of Youth (2010 Reisssue) ☠

*Reissued in 2010 by Bulldog Brothers. This reissue contains 4 bonus tracks with 15 tracks total.

Country: Canada
Language: English
Genre: Synth Pop
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 1982-2010 Bulldog Brothers
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Men Without Hats' debut album Rhythm of Youth was a set of catchy, appealing synth pop. Although the material on the album was wildly inconsistent, the group's energy was infectious, making up for the weaker songs. And when the band managed to write a solid melody -- such as the hit single "The Safety Dance" -- the results were quite memorable.

tags: men without hats, rhythm of youth, 1982, 2010, reissue, flac,