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The 2nd classic album from Green & co...,
This review is from: Cupid & Psyche 85 (Audio CD)
Cupid & Psyche 85 was the more polished succesor to 1982's wonderful Songs to Remember; there's a suitably slick production from Arif Mardin (Arcadia, Thompson Twins)with mixing from Howard Gray (Apollo440). Now a trio of Green, David Gamson & Fred Maher, SP, are supplemented by such musicians as BJ Nelson, Allan Murphy, Simon Climie, Gary Langan, Robert Quine, Steve Ferron etc. What might sound "Very 80s" in terms of production, is rather slick and timeless- as great as peak Prince, Blue Nile's Hats or AR Kane's I (1988).
Green's vocals are even more sublime than on the debut album- particularly on the sublime A Little Knowledge, which has the sweet and sweeter trading vocals of Green & BJ Nelson. There are classic pop singles galore- 1984's Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin), the US hit The Perfect Way (later covered by Miles Davis), the pulsing Hypnotize (not far from 80s Cabaret Voltaire)& of course, The Word Girl (Flesh & Blood). This track was a Top Ten hit in the UK and remains a gorgeous blend of lover's rock and the sweetest pop (the album is bookended by a skanky take entitled Flesh & Blood- which precedes the three alternate versions of Absolute, Wood Beez & Hypnotize). The Word Girl, as 1981's The Sweetest Girl, is one frequently quoted by music journalists- Green keeping his side of the entryist pop of 1981/82 with more Derrida-inflected concepts in his lyrics:"A name the girl outgrew/the girl was never real/she stands for your abuse/the girl is no ideal/It's a word for what you do in a world of broken rules..." (soulful semiotics?)
Cupid & Psyche 85 remains the crowning masterpiece of Scritti Politti's career, 1988's Provision was nice (but more of the same), while 1999's Anomie & Bonhomie drifts off into rap/rock territory (to mostly wonderful effect). C&P85 is one of the great albums of the 1980s, though this brand of perfect pop would become less frequent as time marched on...