Visage - HEARTS AND KNIVES
HEARTS AND KNIVES, Visage’s first album in 29 years, has to be one of the most unexpected comebacks of all times. I loved Visage the first time around– A great singles band that featured frontman Steve Strange with a backing from musicians from other bands (especially Ultravox and Magazine). Most noticeably Midge Ure who actually chose joining Ultravox over staying with Visage whom he was already affiliated with
Visage’s return does feature Ure on a couple tracks but more importantly Steve Strange and his assembled band deliberately uses 80’s technology. The end result is full of burping, beeping synths and sampled guitar swalls. Strange sings about beauty and fashion and danger as if it was 1982, The New Romantics were still in charge, and the club he ran Blitz was still open for business.
The closest thing to this I think is the Ultravox reunion album BRILLIANT from last year. I wrote about that here http://rgdinmalaysia.blogspot.com/2012/09/a-few-thoughts-on-ultravox-and-their.html . Like that record, HEARTS AND KNIVES sounds like it was released back in the 80’s and the intervening years didn’t happen.
A really satisfying record for those who appreciate 80’s music such as me.
Still Corners - STRANGE PLEASURES
As sweet as this music (and it is sweet), it is the distance that hooks the listener. Still Corners’ Tessa Murray’s laidback vocals and Greg Hughes atmospheric arrangement create songs that function as soundscapes. Modern indie meets 80’s boogie such as ”All I Know” and “Future Age” are offset by longer moodier denser passion plays such as “The Trip”. The overall effect is a bit 1980’s in places and also 90’s as some of the faster songs remind me of Dubstar. This is meticulously pretty music not clean without personality but hooky and mind altering.