BIGGER THAN AMERICA from FUTURE MUSIC January 1997
|HEAVEN 17's comeback album has already been criticised in much of the
music press. On first listening this is understandable because, as the band
freely admit, this is not a singles' album, so don't judge it on just one
spin - take your time and listen to it track by track and you will be pleasantly
suprised. There may be no outstanding tracks such as those classic singles
COME LIVE WITH ME or TEMPTATION, but there are some top cuts nonetheless.
Its unmistakable HEAVEN 17 through-out-more so, in fact, than the band's
last two albums. They have rediscovered the analogue synths, the effective
arrangements and the simple hooks that deliver the goods without fuss. They
have rediscovered the vibe that first made PENTHOUSE AND PAVEMENT such a
refreshing outing in 1981. There are some 90's moments and some single material
but overall the feel is retro. Whether there is room for an album of this
age in 1996 is, of course, questionable. But what is the music of 1996 anyway?
With the instrumentation of techno stepping back in time and the britpop
movement worhshipping the 60's who know? HEAVEN 17 say it's future retro.
I'd say if it sounds good there is always room. And after a few listens this
begins to sound pretty darn good.
3,5 stars out of 5