Like it’s 1980something…


I must admit, this is not a book but it has entertained me for the last few weeks since its release and the joy has not yet diminished. 

I’ll also admit that I’m a fan of synth pop and additionally that the output of John Matthews does ‘float my boat’. I think this is largely due to having grown up in the 80s and not moved on. 

This album, whilst being firmly held within the production qualities of 2016, possesses rhythms and sounds which are very redolent of the 80s. To such an extent, in fact, that a progression through the album will have you spotting riffs from New Order and Abba amongst others.

To say that this is purely an homage to the 80s would be to do it an injustice. The lyrical content carries an ascerbic heart redolent of the very best of Paul Heaton ( is there something in the water in Manchester or is it just the amount of water (rain)?). These lyrics poke around in the murky world of celebrity culture (the biggest pool in LA) and the self-absorptive commoditisation that brings (Hit the applause light). ‘Into a tunnel’ is an uncomfortable glance at the effect of the rise of social media on the way we view news. ‘Night of the long knives Charlie Brown’ may have to be unique in its use of ‘roflcopter’ in a lyric! We also have a Bond theme that will never ever be: Diabolical mastermind, and what I consider to be the pinnacle of this album: ‘the very nerve centre of art video cliche’ which is a soaring synth piece with multilayered sound. 

And heres a thing, this album and it’s tracks have so many layers, they are incredible works of great talent. I’d love to see how this builds through the mix-desk! 

Do I have any negatives? I’m not totally keen on ‘rotating the square’ and ‘the magic 8 ball lies’ but that’s just a personal taste issue and the lack of a lyric sheet is a bit disappointing but such is the nature of the download culture.

Certainly my favourite album of recent times. 

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