- Audio CD (21 Mar. 2011)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Wall of Sound
- ASIN: B004EPXK7C
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,307 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Credo is part of a particular pop lineage that goes from Bowie, Roxy and Kraftwerk to Donna Summer, Chic and Michael Jackson to Lady Gaga, Usher and Girls Aloud.
Supremely infectious chart pop music with a twist of subversion. Credo manages to makes itself heard above the brashest state of the art pop productions and brings some of that primitive essence to the milieu, as well as The Human League s unique quality of apartness.
With OMD’s re-emergence and renewed interest in Sheffield compatriots Heaven 17, the timing seems right for a new album from The Human League. Lead singer Philip Oakey’s been relatively busy, dueting on both Pet Shop Boys’ This Used to Be the Future and with Little Boots in 2009. So, having only done short tours since 2001’s criminally overlooked Secrets, what does the band David Bowie described as "the sound of the future" sound like today; in the future, essentially?
Apparently little has changed: a characteristically manifesto-like title, nocturnal themes (Into the Night, Sky, Night People) and Oakey exchanging call/response vocals with Susan Sulley and Joanne Catherall across the throbbing crunch of electronics. They swing between Being Boiled and Heart Like a Wheel within every song, while seldom matching those heights.
But even latter-day League albums produced a stand-out track, a trend continued here with Never Let Me Go: a pop song The Saturdays would be proud of. Oakey's voice bubbling beneath Sulley’s lead vocal will wrongfoot fans expecting a return to the League’s earlier sound. It’s part of a strong opening trio: as pioneers of the remix album (check out 1982’s Love and Dancing), the crisp, vaguely acid synth line of Night People is cries out for an instrumental. But things soon wobble. Oakey provoked the dreaded Marmite phrase before it was coined, but he’s never so thoroughly explored the fine line between droll and dour.
The future apparently annoys him; Breaking the Chains has a light touch, but Privilege is like listening to a cabbie supporting the losing team, while on Get Together, Oakey just sounds miserable. Nonetheless, elsewhere it’s hard not to see a wry smile behind the wisdom of "keep your cornflakes in the freezer".
Their avoidance of guitars, drums or strings is admirable, although Single Minded uses machines to write a song only to discover they’re not plugged in. It’s a track that will send detractors of electronica into spasms of told-you-so satisfaction.
At times Credo sounds like The Human League of today trying to be The Human League of the past, which makes for uncomfortable listening. That said, it’s probably still better than it has any right to be, given the time between the group’s hits and their missing out on chart positions nowadays. They remain more influential than influenced, but this album adds little to their reputation. Although 10 years old itself, Secrets is a far stronger starting point for anyone interested in the 21st century phase of this classic band’s career.
Top Customer Reviews
All in all, I guess 'Credo' is more an 'interesting addition to the Human League discography' than an album we will remember them for.
First impressions are not that good, as we get fairly awful packaging and some very uninspiring artwork (only Joanne comes through it reasonably favourably). You've probably never seen a slimmer fold-out digi, which will scratch the CD within days. Why no sturdy jewel case option?
Onto the music itself - there are some half-decent tracks here, and it generally flows well, but why oh why did I Monster crank Phil's vocal so high in the mix on every track (bar Never Let Me Go)? I have listened to the album 4 times now, once on headphones, and the clarity/volume of his vocal against some very sparse backing tracks often grates, when it should be a plus. If he'd produced these himself as demos I could understand, but the producers have introduced the beginnings of a fresh, sophisticated sound, only to spoil this with the vocal balancing.
The songs themeslves vary from reasonable to mildly embarassing, highlights being Never Let Me Go (oddly), Night People (it sits much better on the album, trust me), Sky (which I love, a bit like Louise Part 2), Egomaniac (rather topical at this time, unfortunately, but nicely energised) and the completely OTT When The Stars Start To Shine. This closer is great, fun, whimsical and refreshingly different from the rest of the album....Read more ›
Much better than I dared hope.
Into The Night reminds me of the tune on Grannie Murry, the childrens programme my daughter used to watch and another track reminds me of Hold your Head Up by Argent, but still good songs nonetheless.
The only downside for me is the mastering level is way up to the max,even by todays ridiculous standards.
Overall though, good purchase.
1. Night People : Yeh its quite an upbeat number with great synths,(there's a good synth towards the end of the song), true to form for the HL. I like it. Perhaps like a lot of songs from this new album I've no idea what the lyrics are about; yet I enjoy the song.
2. Sky : This is one of my favourite songs from the entire album.
"I told her my name, I asked her the same. She said they call me Sky. Said she's in danger, maybe a stranger might know a place nearby. And she talked and she smiled little more than a child. And the cares of my life went away on that day. In that room coming out of the gloom and the gift that she gave followed me to the grave from now on."
And there's a nice hook line : "Life goes on after Sky."
I also like how the song moves from the instrumental in the end part of the song.
3. Into The Night : This seems to be a dreamy song, happily ambling along in its own world. Its good : a good, solid beat.
4. Egomanic : There's some nice little keyboard ryths at the start of the verse but I feel this song doesn't really go anywhere.
5. Single Minded : On the one hand this is quite a repetitive number but on the other hand I quite like the verse and how it goes into the chorus. "A little joy, a little pain. A little love to keep you sain. The only plan since time began."
"Give me a kiss and walk away. Single minded in every way."
"You can sit and dream about the value of your independance. You can shout and scream all day about what is and isn't fair."
6. Electric Shock : I love the start of this song. One big no no - it sounds very similiar to all that has gone before!
"The static hits, burning up and down my thigh.Read more ›
I take on board what others have said about this being an album that needs `time to grow on you' but that doesn't negate the need for quality sounds. If their intention with the instrumentation was to hark back to early days, it failed, because even in the 80's they had enough sense to crank up the reverb and chorus on the tin box presets of a Casio keyboard. The sound palette on Credo is utterly flat, sparse and unoriginal. Add to this the appalling disparity in volume levels between music and vocals (the music occasionally disappearing to a point where all subtlety in the mix is lost) and what you end up with is a collection of songs that still sound like they're in the demo stage.
There are moments of strength. For me, the test of a good song is if it stands out regardless, even if it's just guitar and vocals. `Sky' `Get together' and `Breaking the chains' are the three which stand out for me. But even these suffer from a lack of imagination musically. The real shame of Credo is that this could and should have been an amazing album, not simply a return to form, but a true reinvention. With the right producer and the proper attention to detail most of these songs could have worked.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Saw the Human League in concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London an they sung song from their latest albums.....I did not know they had a new album!!! Read morePublished on 6 Feb. 2014 by I Saunders
I found it all a bit repetitive and not really any brilliant tracks for me. Mediocre and I was hoping for somethign a bit more genius.Published on 22 Jun. 2013 by Belinda Dawn Bryant
Credo is the best thing Human League have done in ages and it isn't because it's the first thing they have done in ages. Read morePublished on 24 Mar. 2013 by Paul Bridgeman Swansea
I have no way of rating this product as it is a present and therefore is unopened, but I fully expect it to be perfect. Read morePublished on 24 Dec. 2012 by Den A
It's been 10 years since Secrets so was Credo worth the wait? Overall, the answer would have to be 'yes'. Read morePublished on 22 Oct. 2012 by Neilo
This really is a great album, easilly one of their best; and I am a long-standing fan of the band.Published on 13 April 2012 by Richard Dean