31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: A Secret Wish (Audio CD)
Here's a much forgotten secret from the mid eighties, Propaganda's Secret Wish is one of the best albums from this period of golden pop. The album was produced by one of the UK's best known and most successful producer's Trevor Horn, who was also the driving force behind the trend setting debuts of ABC and Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Horn's love of complex string arrangements are used to good effect giving Propaganda's well constructed songs an added dimension that starker electronic albums could sometimes lack. Propaganda proved they were on equal terms with fellow German innovators Kraftwerk by releasing an album where every track is a gem. Clever use of synth sequencing and analogue layers give many of the tracks a definite edge, and the album still sounds superb by today's techno standards some 15 years after it was released. This sort of music is always helped by a strong vocalist, and the enigmatic Claudia Brucken with her distinctive German voice is as important to the success of this album as Alison Moyet was to Yazoo. Brucken's vocals easily generate pure emotion against the harsh, industrial sequencing of some of the tracks. On Jewel she provides a manic performance that I really haven't heard from any female vocalist since. It's very difficult to pick highlight tracks as favourites, because they are all so good, but Duel remains as one of the best pop songs from this period. It's a perfect mix of classical interludes and melodic synths, something Horn was to revisit on the PSB classic Left To My Own Devices from 1988. Heaven 17's Glenn Gregory helps out on the vocals for the single P-Machinery, a song that has one of the catchiest synth leads I have ever heard. Japan's David Sylvian also provided the bleeps in the intro. Sorry For Laughing is a touching change of pace and something of a classic. Huge heaps of melancholy and another memorable pop tune. If I'm pushed, I'd say that Dr Mabuse is the highlight purely for it's complexity and change of pace halfway through into a pure killer of a bassline (I bet Adamski liked this one before recording his track Killer!). A dramatic song like most of the album and it was no surprise to hear tracks from this album used for endless UK TV theme tunes and car adverts. Secret Wish easily makes my own personal top ten along with the Human League's Dare and Depeche Mode's Black Celebration. Sadly, I own the original 1985 CD release of this album so I don't have the extra tracks, but I can recommend the remix album Wishful Thinking. Buy Secret Wish and you'll love it. Trust me.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 31 Jul 2009 20:37:45 BDT
Kelvin Dickinson says:
Absolutely spot on.
Posted on 8 Nov 2009 23:05:09 GMT
ScottPaul ScottPaul says:
Spot on again-but I hope a Kim Wilde album is included in your Top 10-I think no Top10 albums of all time-not least from the best decade-could be without at least 3 of hers-the great 3 certainly-Select, Teases&Dares and Catch As Catch Can. Also Bangles, OMD and Duran must feature at least once? And Stevie Nicks?
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