"Teddy Bear, Duke, And Psycho by Heaven 17" - reviewed by Graeme Kay

Since rising from the ashes of the original Human League in 1981 Heaven 17 have acquired a reputation as musical mavericks with a peculiar talent for producing hard-edged disco anthems such as Fascist Groove Thing. This 10-track album, their first since 1986, follows firmly in that tradition but eschews the current vogue for sampling, rap and all things ethnic in favour of a rootsier approach. Particular high spots are Hot Blood which spits and pops over a savagely clipped funk guitar, a typically droll Snake And Two People borne aloft on a swirl of Hammond organ and Train Of Love In Motion, a frenetic soul firecracker. Surprisingly perhaps the least successful moment comes with new single The Ballad Of Go Go Brown, a clumsy, hamfisted stab at R&B which never quite takes off. Overall though a strong enough return, and not quite the fall from grace that might have been expected after such a long lay off. Value seekers may wish to note that the cassette and CD contain two and five extra tracks respectively.

Rating: 3