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5.0 out of 5 stars did not know it was released!
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!!! In my opinion this is one of the best they have ever done.
Published 5 months ago by Ian Saunders

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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I really wanted it to be better...but it does have it's moments.
Think Hysteria after Dare, and now Credo after Secrets (or even Octopus, as that was a cracker too). Oddly the sparseness of a lot of the arrangements here is also reminiscent of some tracks on Hysteria, and that's the problem as this album is from 2011! I am a huge League fan, whether Travelogue (my all-time fave), Dare (the ultimate 80s electro) or Octopus/Secrets (both...
Published on 24 Mar 2011 by M. B. Wilson


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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I really wanted it to be better...but it does have it's moments., 24 Mar 2011
By 
M. B. Wilson "crushtrash" (Bristol) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Credo (Audio CD)
Think Hysteria after Dare, and now Credo after Secrets (or even Octopus, as that was a cracker too). Oddly the sparseness of a lot of the arrangements here is also reminiscent of some tracks on Hysteria, and that's the problem as this album is from 2011! I am a huge League fan, whether Travelogue (my all-time fave), Dare (the ultimate 80s electro) or Octopus/Secrets (both very welcome). As such I was waiting for this album like all fans, and was delighted when they signed to Wall Of Sound.

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....should be a single.

Most songs sit as segued pairs, which is a really nice production touch.

However many arrangements almost sound half-finished, and the songs often have repetitive lyrics (Night People and Single Minded being two good examples of this). Phil has a new co-writer on this album, but I'm not convinced this has worked as well as they'd hoped. No Neil Sutton or Jo Callis credits anywhere this time, who both lent a more melodic twist to things.

The tunes, as they are, are often mainly carried by the lead vocal, and digital stutters/flanging/phasing and all other manner of studio gimmicks do not make a mediocre song a good song. The basslines are excellent, but the rest of the keyboards often fade into the background. Needless to say the harmonies between Phil and the girls are still great though!

Unfortunately WOS really seemed late on board when it came to marketing or promotional activity. True, there have been a quite a few Radio Interviews, including a prime-time one on Radio 2 very recently, and these will certainly help in the final push. But prior to the album release we got half-hearted single releases (with no official CD release), a hurried change of second single in Germany, a rather eclectic selection of remixes, and no real UK TV promotion. Compare this to Duran Duran's Saturday telly gig 2 days before the release of their latest album, and they're on a fairly unknown record label now too! Maybe this is because this album simply isn't WOS dance material, but a fairly solid electro-pop affair - who knows? Whatever their reasons, it's a real shame the label didn't do more, and much earlier (ie 2010 to promote the first single).

You'll gather I am a tad disappointed as this album could've been so much more. A decent remix on some of the tracks would've saved it from 3-star territory, but for now I'm off to enjoy Octopus/Secrets again, and enjoy a more creative 'new style' HL experience that is strong from start to finish!
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4.0 out of 5 stars 'Enjoyable If A Little One Dimensional', 16 May 2014
By 
Antony May (East Sussex, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Credo (Audio CD)
'Credo' is rather more dance floor orientated than any of the League's other albums and perhaps for that reason while a consistently enjoyable listen it lacks light and shade. This said, there isn't a stinker like 'Lets Get Together Again' or most of the abysmal 'Crash' album here and most of the songs include more than one reference to the bands celebrated 'Dare' sound which I quite like. To be honest, there's not much more to say really. Few of the songs make a great deal of an impression lyrically so its hard to really enthuse about how great individual songs are but if you like danceable, electronic thumpers with an 80's pop edge and the sound of our Phil's voice booming out of your speakers backed up by the girls occasional backing refrains then you will love 'Credo'.

All in all, I guess 'Credo' is more an 'interesting addition to the Human League discography' than an album we will remember them for.
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5.0 out of 5 stars did not know it was released!, 6 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Credo (Audio CD)
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!!! In my opinion this is one of the best they have ever done.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Solid Album, 24 Mar 2011
This review is from: Credo (Audio CD)
Having seen several reviews in the press recently I was quite worried that this would be THL's last album purely because most people see them as has beens and not musically relevant any more. Personally it's pretty sad that THL are slated simply because they have been around for a such a long time. It doesn't make them automatically naff. Journalists are too busy banging on about Lady Ga Ga, La Roux and Little Boots to take anyone over the age of 30 seriously. Enough said on that score.

Personally I prefer this album to Secrets, but I am probably in the minority.
I don't think Never Let Me Go is the best track to use as a single, but probably the most obvious choice as it's the most poppy. Night People was also a strange choice as it's basically a club tune and not the kind of track that Radio 2 were likely to play on rotation. I say Radio 2 because Radio 1 and other "hip" stations probably refused to play it!

I think Electric Shock would have made a better single to be honest, but that's my opinion. The rest of the album is great and has been put together very well by I-Monster. Sky is a favourite track of mine and very addictive. Breaking the Chains and When The Stars Start to Shine are also very good, the latter reminds me of early Heaven 17.

I would say that the album takes a few listens to really appreciate the quality of the production values. For those willing to persevere you will find the album enjoyable and wanting more.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Truly In A League Of It's Own. Absolutely Dire!, 21 April 2011
By 
Drew Mar (Whitstable, Kent, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Credo (Audio CD)
Well after the huge wait from 2001's wonderful 'Secrets'. The same cannot be said for this awful mess called 'Credo'. What was the idea here. Let's go out and make a bland and uninspiring album for a change. Well that certainly seems to be the result here.

Of the 11 tracks here only 3 of them are on a par with any of the group's previous album and single material. The tracks funnily enough are listed in chronological order from 1-3 on the album. It's like the group knew this too.
The good tracks are 1. Never Let Me Go 2. Night People 3. Sky. After that you are advised to stop wasting your time and money. Believe you me I have tried to like the album... but compared to previous works it is absolutely DIRE, BLAND, UNMELODIC and BORING. Three good songs out of 11 do not make a good album. I've loved all the groups previous works since DARE. This is so bad that I've given ratings for all the groups albums prior to this.

DARE 10/10
HYSTERIA 7.5/10
CRASH 7/10
ROMANTIC 8/10
OCTOPUS 8/10
SECRETS 9/10
CREDO 3/10
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flat tyre productions present..., 1 April 2011
This review is from: Credo (Audio CD)
If you plan to buy the album based on your opinion of the current `Never let me go' single...DON'T BOTHER. The two bare little resemblance. I love the single; it reminded me a bit of the outstanding `Tell Me When' from Octopus (through not as catchy, complex or uplifting). Some people I've talked to found 'Never let me go' a little too `obvious' (HL by numbers) selling out for the sake of a hit, but ultimately it does have something the album doesn't and desperately needs, and that's production values.

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. Instead I just feel cheated, lied to by the promised production on the single and let down by the lack of depth in the album. In their Radio 2 interview, Phil spoke of how he had no patience with the production process, how he lost interest in anything that involved `sitting down' for any length of time. That's a shame. His point was that music should be about `doing', being in the `now' moment of bringing a song to life, fingers on the keyboard, stood up, making it real. I get that and I admire the integrity, but unfortunately that still needs to translate into an equally worthy experience for the listener and this album doesn't. The listener needs to be guided through emotional highs and lows in the light and shadow of the mix. Production wise, Credo is more like the long dark tea time of an elevator music underworld.

It's clear that time and effort has gone into the vocals, often catchy, usually lyrically interesting, always utterly, utterly Human League and this, if it has one, is its saving grace. You can hear there are good songs in there desperate to get out, but again, the balance is all wrong. There's not enough layering, the backing is often sparse or non existent, tonally it's often so harsh it grates and if you turn up the volume to try and `get at' the music, the vocals blow the speakers. I know for a fact there are producer fans out there that would kill to get their hands on a HL track. In this modern age of computer production it would be so easy to send out a bare bones set of tracks and see what the HL music fan community come up with. Cherry pick the best, compile it on an album. Phil doesn't have to `sit' in a studio. Everyone's a winner. I guarantee you would reap better results than this. Perhaps next time.

For the die hards, this album is clearly hitting the spot regardless, and good for you. Enjoy. For me, as a medium entry level fan I still demand a little something more of my gods before I'll bow down.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than I expected, 15 Oct 2011
This review is from: Credo (Audio CD)
I wasn`t expecting much,and bought really on a whim,but pleasantly surprised.
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.
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15 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Credo-bility restored, 21 Mar 2011
This review is from: Credo (Audio CD)
It has been ten years since the iconic Sheffield combo last blessed our airwaves with new material, but then The Human League have hardly been renowned for their productivity during their 30 year plus career. The last decade has seen mainstays Oakey, Catherall and Sulley content to pedal the lucrative nostalgia circuit, sharing stages with 80s embarrassments such as T'Pau and Curiosity Killed The Cat (see "Here and Now" franchise). It's only been in recent years that there appears to have been a conscious attempt to restore some credibility to the Synth Britannia legends' tarnished reputation, with the "Steel City" and "Dare" tours.

If "Credo" doesn't exactly match the pioneering heights of their opening salvo, the standard-setting "Reproduction-Travelogue-Dare" triumvirate, it does nevertheless complete another satisfying trilogy of albums that started with 1995's "Octopus." Arguably the triplet of albums released in between ("Hysteria", "Crash" and "Romantic") represent the synthpop outfits' critical and commercial nadir, despite heralding some rare moments of brilliance (see "Human" and "Heart Like a Wheel")

Incredibly, "Credo" could well be the League's most consistent and accessible album since the multi-selling "Dare". Gone are the ephemeral instrumentals and sound experiments that punctuated much of previous album "Secrets"; instead, this focused and assured opus contains 11 well produced and contemporary all-vocal tracks that will appeal to fans of every facet of the HL's decade-traversing career.

What the album does lack is a memorable and inspiring killer single - every HL album has one (or more) of these; from the ubiquitous cross-generational radio favourite "Don't You Want Me", to the political snapshots of "The Lebanon", through to the pure pop of "Tell Me When" and even "All I Ever Wanted" with its hilarious rhyming couplets. The extremely repetitive "Night People", though (particularly in its unforgivably butchered radio edit), is certainly no classic. However, the delightful elongated album version is a signposting encapsulation of the HL sound, a delightfully kooky concoction of multi-layered synthpop and, quite frankly, bonkers lyrics (only the idiosyncratic Phil Oakey could get away with such grammatical faux pas as the rhyming of houses with mouses!).

Whilst "Night People" is more in keeping with HL's trademark pop sensibilities, current single "Never Let Me Go", by contrast, has more in common with the funk leanings of 1986's ill-conceived "Crash" album. With its weak chorus and discordant vocal autotuning, it's a disappointing single choice, and not really representative of the album as a whole. In Germany the rather pedestrian "Egomaniac" has been released as a single, a rather lame track that, along with "Get Together," falls into a `League-by-numbers' category.

Whilst the singles have received mixed plaudits, elsewhere there is much to enjoy on "Credo." There are plenty of nods to the past, with "Single Minded" seemingly cut from the same cloth as "(Keep Feeling) Fascination", while album lengthy closer "When the Stars Start to Shine" ironically evokes some early Heaven 17. The transient "Into The Night" is a real grower, while "Electric Shock" and "Breaking the Chains" stand out as other highlights with their soaring choruses and inventive instrumentation. Elsewhere, fan favourite "Sky" and "Privilege" employ great narratives from Oakey; the latter the closest the group get to diverting from "Credo"'s formulaic pop sheen, with its grubbily rapped tale of avarice and rich salver of stuttering synths and bleeps.

As comebacks from the giants of a bygone era go, "Credo" sits somewhere in between OMD's disjointed "History of Modern" and Duran Duran's career-resurrecting "All You Need Is Now"; it's a cohesive, if slightly underwhelming, collection of songs that consolidate the HL's reputation for producing polished, catchy synthpop.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Been A Lovely Day, 20 April 2011
This review is from: Credo (MP3 Download)
It's certainly a purple patch for 80's music lovers, what with new albums from Duran, Roxette and Human League, to name a few.

I wasn't too sure about this after initially downloading it but I've listened to it many times since and it really does grow on you.

There are some cracking songs on Credo. Personal favourites are Breaking The Chains (absolutely fantastic - one of the best songs I've heard in ages), When The Stars Start To Shine, Sky and Single Minded but there isn't a track I dislike.

Yes, the lyrics can be a bit bonkers but I actually find myself listening to what is being said.

Having read the other reviews on here, I can't understand the critisism of the girls' vocals. What's this about "auto-tune"? They sound exactly the same as they have always done and HL wouldn't be the same without them.

Most of these songs would sit happily alongside the classic greatest hits.

Please don't leave it so long before the next album.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What's not to love?, 31 Mar 2011
By 
Carl Stanley (london, uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Credo (Audio CD)
I find it difficult to understand some of the mixed reviews 'Credo' has got. It is not so much a return to form as a development of everything The Human League have created over the last 33 years.
'Never Let Me Go' has to rank as one of HL's best openers, on a par with 'The Black Hit of Space' and 'I'm Coming Back'. There is even a nod to 'Crash', with its heavy drum patterns. The vocals are sublime on this track, especially Susan's, and once the production revs up 3 minutes in, this is an entirely new Human League. 'Night People' sounds like the grandchild of 'Sound of the Crowd'. On first hearing I, like many, thought the lyrics were faintly ridiculous, but now, after listening to it on repeat, I am totally hooked. Who else but Phil would have the nerve to rhyme 'freezers', 'cheeses', and 'Caesar's'? That is some sort of genius. 'Sky' is a dancier update of 'Louise'-meets-''Life On Your Own', neatly segueing into the next track, 'Into The Night', which is reminiscent of 'Secrets'-era HL. In fact, without writing a blow-by-blow 'this song sounds like that one' review, 'Credo' cleverly references everything we love about The Human League, particularly 'Hysteria' and 'Travelogue', although this is more to do with subtle sounds than carbon copies. They have never sounded better, they are more relevant today than ever after the shameless plundering by artists such as La Roux, and this album proves the original is always the best. More's the pity 'Credo' won't sell millions, but to paraphrase Norma Desmond in 'Sunset Boulevard, The Human League still are big, it's just the charts that got smaller...
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Credo by Human League (Audio CD - 2011)
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