For a while back in the early 80's this album was a semi permanent fixture on my turntable. Blancmange are an enigma to many - silly name, fluffy pop singles, no real image to speak of, had a few hits then faded away. But look under the surface and they were so much more than that.
This, their debut album, is a real mixed bag of musical styles. The only consistent thing about tracks as diverse as Sad Day, Feel Me, Living On The Ceiling and Waves is the peculiar english eccentric streak they all contain. Sort of like a UK Talking Heads with the funky art rock leaning replaced by whimsical english pop sensibilities. Hearing this album now years after its release (its been out of print for ages) its clear this band could only ever have existed in the 1980's. There are no modern equivalents.
Its a bouncy, bright, poppy affair shot through with the occasional Walker-esque shards of melancholy. Its not arty or edgy, even the funky Feel Me is very pedestrain in comparison with the likes of Japans Tin Drum material or anything by Depeche Mode post A Broken Frame. However its gleaming pop at its absolute best - pure, honest and utterly melodic.
This version is a decent digital remaster. Sure, it would have been nice to see a few extra tracks, plus do we really need four versions of Feel Me? But at this price and the quality of the album itself these are minor concerns.
Blancmange had more commercial success with the follow up Mange Tout (also released in this series) but this is the album I always return to. The fact that its fallen so far off the critical radar is a sad day indeed.