This is the first review that I've written. So why this album and why now?
Well, first its an album that I bought on release (vinyl and CD) and still treasure. Second, so few people have reviewed this album or seem to know about it now, and yet China Crisis music is readily available which says something about its longevity. Perhaps their back catalogue will be remastered someday?
I would agree with the reviewer that describes this as one of the best debut albums of the 1980s, if not all time. The album has good production and still sounds fresh to me. The producer, Peter Walsh, also produced Simple Minds 'New Gold Dream' which gives you some idea of its quality.
'Difficult Shapes' is a reflective and thoughtful collection of songs that vary from upbeat numbers like 'Some people I know to lead fantastic lives' to the more calming and beautiful 'Red Sails'. The album includes the singles 'African and White', 'No more blue horizons' and, of course, their most successful (in terms of sales) single 'Christian'. The other songs are equally good. I particularly like 'Seven sports for all' and the wonderful closing track 'Jean walks in fresh fields'.
I would also recommended their next album 'Working With Fire and Steel'. But really, 'Difficult Shapes' is a great place to start and probably my favourite. If you like strong melodies, thoughtful lyrics combined with a mix of uplifting and calming music, then why not try it?