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Showing posts with the label synthpop

NIK KERSHAW - "THE RIDDLE" 1984

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NIK KERSHAW "THE RIDDLE" 1984     DON QUIXOTE - Like a Pop/Funk/Disco crossover, the song again had a very catchy chorus and brass-like accompaniment. KNOW HOW -  Synth based track, similar to those on "Human Racing", ik has this ability to sing a slow lyric with a faster backbeat.  Lots of electric sounds on this, very experimental but a great song. YOU MIGHT -  A Pop Rock song, great Rock guitar riffs with a driving beat and synths throughout and of course the obligatory catchy sing along chorus! WILD HORSES -  a really nice song, slow Synth Pop ballad type.  A beautiful melody and chorus make this a superb song.  Proving that Nik could cut a ballad as well as the catchy Pop he is known for. EASY - Sounds a bit like Level 42, which is not unusual as it has the brilliant "slap bass" master Mark King helping out .  A Funk Pop foot tapper and again if you listen to this in headphones, try to pick out all the things going

KRAFTWERK - "AUTOBAHN" 1975

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  KRAFTWERK  "AUTOBAHN" 1975 AUTOBAHN - The debut single from this album that reached number 11 in the UK chart and is also the title track.  At over 22 minutes long this epic song takes more than half of the album's entire length.  It kicks off with an engine starting, merging into a quirky and easy going Pop Synth intro.  At the 9 minute mark it hits a sc-fi styled Electronica with vocoded effects.  It ends with a nice, melancholic, atmospheric vibe. KOMETENMELODIE 1 - This is an eerie sounding track with lots of whirrs and whistles and with a very dark tone.  Reminding me of the scary sci-fi TV programmes growing up! I think this translates as Comet Melody. KOMETENMELODIE 2 - The slight intro is similar to the previous track but a bright and breezy Synth Pop sound is added to give it a real uplifting ambience.     MITTERNACHT - I believe this translates to "Midnight", German viewers please accept my apologies if my translations are off! A very dark and mo

KRAFTWERK - "THE MAN MACHINE" 1978

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KRAFTWERK "THE MAN MACHINE" 1978     THE ROBOTS - The album opener kicks off with a similar synth style that Thompson Twins would master a few years later.  A quirky robotic (obviously) melody throughout with the occasional synth Funk elements.  The chorus when it comes is basically "we are the robots" but it still sticks in your head!      SPACELAB - A track that has a futuristic Disco beat but the almost melancholic melody over the top and eerie sci fi segments make this unique.  It is structured almost like a Pop ballad, its emotive in a weird kind of way.  Classic Kraftwerk genius. METROPOLIS - This starts off in almost cathedral likefashion before launching into a mid tempo Pop synth ballad mostly instrumental track.  Maybe inspired by Fritz Lang's 1927 masterpiece movie "Metropolis".   THE MODEL - The track that was so far ahead of its time it became a massice hit and reached number 1 in the UK four years later.  U

A-HA - "TRUE NORTH" 2022

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  A-HA "TRUE NORTH" 2022 I'M IN - The opening track on the band's 11th studio album was also the first single released.  This is an orchestral style, piano led Pop ballad that is full of hope and positivity despite its melancholic sound.  Morten's vocal is as impeccably emotional as ever.     HUNTER IN THE HILLS - This kicks off in some musical based sounds evoking a "thriller movie" imagery.  Has a very orchestral jazzy feel to it.  Unusual for the band but it works. AS IF - This ia a mid tempo 80s New Wave ballad that almost sounds like Folk with a little Americana thrown in for good measure.  Was the third single released from the album. BETWEEN THE HALO AND THE THORN - This is almost reminiscent of the band's debut album's slow songs but with a huge orchestral twist.  Still waiting for the rocky quicker song to liven the album up, although a nice relaxing listen so far. TRUE NORTH - A more familiar sounding A-ha on this title track. The roc

SPANDAU BALLET - "JOURNEYS TO GLORY" 1981

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SPANDAU BALLET "JOURNEYS TO GLORY" 1981 TO CUT A LONG STORY SHORT - The opening track and debut single was the epitomy of the New Romantic Pop phenomenon that took over the first couple of years in the 80s.  The Synth New Wave sound, medieval like percussion and Tony Hadley's big booming vocal are just fantastic. REFORMATION - An almost repetitive, rhyming lyric over a typically 80s Electronic Synth Pop backing.  Again there is a dark, almost eerie medieval sound running through the track.  Catchy in a strange way, but great track. MANDOLIN - A little more anthemic and bigger sound to the previous tracks and with a funky bassline that hits the mark.  A mix of Ultravox pomp and Soft Cell vocals.  Not a single but I love this track. MUSCLEBOUND - A New Wave track, a slow tempo backing track with Tony giving it his all to lifet it to new heights, then the annoyingly catchy chanted chorus kicks in and you can't help but sing along. AGE OF BLOWS

JEFF MCCALL - "SOMEBODY" 2020

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  JEFF MCCALL   "SOMEBODY" 2020   SOMEBODY - Jeff's third album starts off with an intro straight out of Kraftwerk's copybook before a more moody Industrial sound kicks in.  The chorus changes to a more melodious Pop sound akin to of Erasure before returning to the Depeche Mode style Synth Rock.  Jeff has this 80s retro sound licked and this is another catchy gem. I SEE YOU - A little more uptempo this one, straight out Synth Pop reminiscing the sound of The Human League.  This could easily have fit on the classic album, "Dare" from 1981.  It also reminds me a little of A Flock Of Seagulls in its minimal, simple catchy beat and lyrics.  Nice. NO TIME TO DIE - A more Europop Synth style on this track.  If anyone recalls Berlin's 2nd album, "Pleasure Victim" (way before the 4th album that gave us "Take Your Breath Away") this is similar to that great infectious almost disco beat with a memorable chorus.   TWILIGHT ZONE - Possiby my f

WHOWho - "OH YEAH" 2015

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WHOWho   "OH YEAH"  2015   SINCERELY YOURS - I first reviewed this great South Korean Electronic Rock band in 2012 in a minor feature before my blog was solely album reviews.  This is the debut album and is an absolute gem.  This first track is a mix of Funk, New Wave, Synth Rock and Pop.  This is such a unique sound, merging genres all over the place.  Brilliant opening. DANCE IN THE RAIN - Another great funky track which reminds me a little of The Police but with harder searing guitar solos!  A storming song and the mix of Electronic Synth style with Rock leanings is pretty ingenious. OH YEAH -  The title track begins like a typical Dance Pop track with a pumping beat.  Then the 80s style Synth Pop comes in followed by some guitars and its a completely different song than it was in the beginning.  Its classic Europop style "oh oh" chanting and simple chorus just make it even better. HER - This is one of the first songs I heard from the band and I loved it on

JEFF MCCALL - "THOUGHTS & CROSSES" 2019

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JEFF MCCALL    "THOUGHTS & CROSSES" 2019   WE LEARN - As with most of Jeff McCall's retro 80s Synth Pop it is a great mix of a variety of styles and artists of that era.  This opening track is no exception.  There is a little Kraftwerk intro until the Dave Gahan like lyrics come in.   Indeed is sounds a lot like Gahan's band Depeche Mode with a hint of very early Spandau Ballet before they became "soul" boys.     METAL MAN - If you are a fan of Thompson Twins and Erasure you will love this track.  It is a quirky mix of both bands with a pulating Electro beat with a melodious up and down backing with McCall lifting the song with his vocals to more uptempo style. ON MY MIND - This second album continues with a slow, emotive ballad.  This is more Pop than the previous two, more New Wave or New Romantic with the sound reminiscent of The Human League.  A really nice song with a great chorus. I WONDER - This track reminds me of A-ha, its soft Synth Pop bac

HOWARD JONES - "HUMAN'S LIB" 1984

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HOWARD JONES "HUMAN'S LIB" 1984 CONDITIONING - The debut album from one of the 80s pioneers of Synth Pop opens with a very Kraftwerk-esque track.  It's minimal lyrics and equally minimal sound add to its charm.  Its quirky rhythm and experimental blips and squeaks surely nod to the German masters' work. WHAT IS LOVE? - The second single that reached number 2 in the UK chart.  This was a much more polished almost New Wave kind of Synth Pop track.  Atmospheric and with a very catchy and memorable chorus make this one of the best songs of the 80s and also of Jones' catalogue.     PEARL IN THE SHELL - A great track, not as popular as some of his big hits but this is a funky, kind of jazzy New Wave style song.  There is some nice saxophone by The Blockheads' Davey Payne.  It is unique and has a little of everything which makes it special.  Not as catchy a chorus as usual but the beat and jaunty style merging with the big and brash saxophone lift it to bigger

A-HA - "SCOUNDREL DAYS" 1986

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A-HA "SCOUNDREL DAYS" 1986 SCOUNDREL DAYS - The opener on this, the band's second album laid the groundwork for the rest of the album.  Whereas the debut, "Hunting High And Low" was pure Electronic Pop, this sequel was a more mature rockier sound.  This first track was like a New Wave/Synth Rock hybrid.  Atmospheric, a variety of vocal ranges from lead singer Morten Harket and quite a lot going on if you listen closely.  A great start. THE SWING OF THINGS - Another brilliant experimental track, Electro Pop with a funky background and some twangy Country guitars at times.  Its almost a ballad, it shouldn't work but it does.  An absolute gem, one of my favourite songs by the band. I'VE BEEN LOSING YOU - The lead single from the album and its a cracker.  Sounding nothing like the previous album, this was the Pop Rock sound that was to come in the next few albums.  Great harmonies merge with crashing drums and guitars with an uptempo rhythm.  These guys w

THE HUMAN LEAGUE - "DARE" 1981

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THE HUMAN LEAGUE "DARE"   1981     THE THINGS THAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF - This opening track is what Kraftwerk would sound like if they rocked up.  The musical backing is pure 70s Synth Pop with a strong powerful angst ridden vocal from Philip Oakey on the catchy chorus. OPEN YOUR HEART - Great New Wave Synth Pop, a chirpy melodious backing track with a catchy chorus sung by Philip and backing singers Susan Ann Sulley and Joanne Catherall in unison.  Atmospheric and anthemic in content and a great track.  THE SOUND OF THE CROWD - The first single from this album and the the first commercial success for the band.  This always reminded me of early Gary Numan and also a little New Order.  Its like Gothic Synth Pop.  Eerie in places, powerful and its marching drumbeat keep the track pumping along.  Philip and the girls add various lyrics and chants to add to the mystery.     DARKNESS - A disappointment for me after the first three tracks.  Its basi

JEFF MCCALL - "NIGHT LIFE" 2017

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JEFF MCCALL "NIGHT LIFE" 2017 NIGHT LIFE -  This opening track reminds me of Heaven 17 with a hint of Krafwerk's electronic vocal backing on the chorus.  Bright and breezy with a great vocal, a pumping electronic beat and catchy chorus.  Sets you up nicely for the nostalgic glimpse into your 80s past that is to come.     HAVEN'T I TRIED - Starts with a person walking and whistling before the footsteps change into a throbbing electrobeat, synths and handclap sounds.  The verses are clearly Erasure-like but the chorus somehow changes into Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys! Great song, the chorus is sing-a-long catchy and the vocals and composition are perfect Electro Pop. WHEN YOU FALL - A powerful and emotive Electro Rock ballad with an eerie atmospheric style.  As a big fan of Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet it reminds me a little of their very early albums.  The chorus is akin to David Sylvian of Japan, with that low, almost monotone

DURAN DURAN - "DURAN DURAN" 1981

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  DURAN DURAN   "DURAN DURAN" 1981 GIRLS ON FILM - This debut album by the band opens with this brilliant New Wave track.  Their breakthrough single in the UK chart reaching number 5.  Its cheeky and somewhat sarcastic lyrics about the glamour and glitz of the modelling industry are backed by an irresistible pumping rhythm and keyboard and guitar accompanient.  Its just a classic Duran Duran song and a classic 80s song as well.  Top opener.   PLANET EARTH - The debut single only reached number 12 in the UK chart.  This is more Synth Pop Disco than the previous track.  Again with the pumping rhythm but more experimental than "Girls On Film" and the chorus is not as catchy but still engaging to be a great song.   ANYONE OUT THERE - This is one of my favourite Duran Duran tracks, it has a more rockier guitar backing.  Also a funky bass appears with echoed vocals in one segment.  This is more Pop Rock and as the band proved with their album tracks in the future, this

THOMPSON TWINS - "INTO THE GAP" 1984

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  THOMPSON TWINS "INTO THE GAP" 1984   DOCTOR!DOCTOR! - The band's fourth album kicks off with an memorable 80s tune.  The second single from the album reached number 3 in the UK chart and was a big hit in the USA.  Heavy rotation of the video on MTV ensured its success.  An anthemic chorus encapsulates this track and the beautifully melodious Synth Pop backing is atmospheric and gives a positive vibe.   YOU TAKE ME UP - This track sounds minimal but there is a lot going on including marimba, xylophone and harmonica plus numerous other instruments.  Its like a Folk style Synth Pop track with another catchy chorus.  It reached number 2 in the UK chart as the album's second single.   HOLD ME NOW - The lead single from the album reaching number 4 in the UK chart.  Less Synth Pop and more New Wave.  This is a really nice big Pop ballad, with an anthemic simple chorus, a classic of the 80s in my opinion.  Classic Thompson Twins and memorable for the 80s decade.     DAY