July 11, 2024

China Crisis - Collection (The Very Best of China Crisis) (1990)

*This is the U.K. pressing which was released as a 2 disc set.

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Synth Pop, Art Pop, Pop
Label Number: CDVX 2613

© 1990 Virgin Records
China Crisis Collection: The Very Best of China Crisis doesn't lie; true to its title, the album gathers China Crisis' brightest moments. While the exclusion of "The Highest High" is an oversight, this is one of the most accurate and thorough summaries of a band's career. Uniting elements of synth pop, jazz, progressive rock, and new wave, China Crisis sound like nobody else. The jittery "Working With Fire and Steel" unveils the group's early infatuation with sprightly electronics. "Working With Fire and Steel" is actually one of the few songs on China Crisis Collection that received U.S. airplay; its chipper, naïve keyboards must've wooed radio programmers hooked on early-'80s video games. China Crisis' music became increasingly sophisticated with each LP as the band explored slower tempos and more soulful melodies. The lush, breezy "Wishful Thinking" epitomizes the group's stylistic growth. Leaning closer to light jazz, tracks like "Wishful Thinking," "No More Blue Horizons," and "You Did Cut Me" drop hints at China Crisis' gradual departure from their synth pop roots. "No More Blue Horizons" is a deceptively -- blame it on the soaring horns -- upbeat tale of unrequited love. "Time and time again/can't hide this pain/I lie awake at night/and hear you call his name," Gary Daly sings, his voice coolly expressing the lyrics' feelings of hurt. While it may take repeated listens to hear China Crisis' subtle charms, the band starts to weave a hypnotic spell once the songs' inner beauty becomes apparent. The meditative "Christian" mesmerizes the ears with exquisite strings and pensive keyboards, and "Arizona Sky" unreels with a keen sense of awe. China Crisis Collection has no filler. Except for the missing "The Highest High," this album grabs the artistic peaks from the group's albums, satisfying old fans while creating new ones in the process.

 tags: china crisis, collection, the very best of china crisis, 1990, flac,


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