Octopus is indeed Human League's eighth album, following on from the much forgotten 1990 album Romantic? (no. 24 22.9.90). Crash was the last properly recognised album released in 1986 (no.7 20.9.86), produced as it was by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, at the height of Janet Jackson's Control debut. Crash however was sadly lacking in either spark or innovation, despite having two sublime tracks in Human and Love Is All That Matters.
Octopus however was a brand new start for the group marking both a new label and a new sleek and sophisticated image. First off the block was the sparkling bright pop of Tell Me When (which afforded them a welcome back to the Top Ten (no.6)) followed by the charming One Man In My Heart (no. 13) (mainly sung for a change by Susan and Joanne), both of which helped push the album to a no.6 position in the album charts.
Third single, Filling Up With Heaven failed to match the previous two singles, only reaching no.36 in the singles chart, despite being one of the albums better songs. The penultimate track, Never Again would have made a good choice for a single as it one of Octopus's little jems (track 8). A beautiful song, which could rank alongside Human, as one of the League's best love songs.
The remaining tracks, however, seemed to fail to push the album any further forward, despite the fact that they were full of trade mark harmonies, synthesisers, club bass lines and shuffling percussion/backing.
Whatever Octopus's slight deficiencies are, the album, although no masterpiece by any standard, is a must have if you are a fan of the new Human League. The overall feeling of the album being that it is a positive step in the right direction, one which will hopefully continue for some time to come.
Finally, you have to hand it to the group for dusting themselves down (every 5 years or so!) to come back out to play with the current pop tarts and trendy boy/girl bands. A truly class act.