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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Debut?
Contemporary with other synth-pop groups of the early 80's such as Depeche Mode, Soft Cell and OMD, this debut album stands comparison with any by these. The music is fresh and inventive, the production light and airy. In fact the only negative point I could raise is the use of a rather pretentious title, 'Difficult Shapes and Passive Rhythms, Some People Think It's...
Published on 29 Jun 2006 by Cy Kidd

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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to the other sound of 1982
This was China Crisis' first album release (in 1982) and it's very much a product of the era. However, this is in no way a New Romantic album, but shows an intelligent and relatively low-profile band getting to grips with some above-average pop harmonies.
The standout track is if course the beautiful slow-pop of Christian, which just missed the UK Top 10 but is...
Published on 3 Dec 2001 by chrishyams


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Debut?, 29 Jun 2006
By 
Cy Kidd (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Difficult Shapes (Audio CD)
Contemporary with other synth-pop groups of the early 80's such as Depeche Mode, Soft Cell and OMD, this debut album stands comparison with any by these. The music is fresh and inventive, the production light and airy. In fact the only negative point I could raise is the use of a rather pretentious title, 'Difficult Shapes and Passive Rhythms, Some People Think It's Easy to Entertain' (try repeating that over the WH Smiths record counter!).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best!, 4 Dec 2008
This review is from: Difficult Shapes (Audio CD)
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?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 July 2014
This review is from: Difficult Shapes (Audio CD)
replaced LP. good
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5.0 out of 5 stars fabulolous, 31 Mar 2009
This review is from: Difficult Shapes (Audio CD)
possibly the best album ever released by china crisis .jean walks in fresh fields should have been extended ,the keyboards were like walking on air .the lads ignored me at a small gig but your forgiven
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to the other sound of 1982, 3 Dec 2001
This review is from: Difficult Shapes (Audio CD)
This was China Crisis' first album release (in 1982) and it's very much a product of the era. However, this is in no way a New Romantic album, but shows an intelligent and relatively low-profile band getting to grips with some above-average pop harmonies.
The standout track is if course the beautiful slow-pop of Christian, which just missed the UK Top 10 but is nevertheless a classic single of the era. However, African & White is a worthy 'first single' while Some People I Know To Lead Fantastic Lives would've been a perfect follow-up. The rest of the album is admittedly patchy due to an over-reliance on the 'tinkly-bop' keyboard approach, but you can audibly tell that China Crisis were finding their feet with this release. If anything, the overall feeling is one of minimal production, with many of the songs needing a a good fleshing-out, while the vocals can also get a little annoying, If only they could've developed the instrumental of the album closer Jean Walks In Fresh Fields a little further, they may well have produced one of the best tunes of the 1980's.
Recommended, but their following two albums are more worthy of investigation.
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Difficult Shapes
Difficult Shapes by China Crisis (Audio CD - 1988)
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