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Profile for Chris-Hyams > Reviews

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Content by Chris-Hyams
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Reviews Written by
Chris-Hyams (Hawley, Hampshire United Kingdom)

Page: 1
Price: £14.90

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Frankie Says... Somewhat Under-rated, 9 Dec. 2002
This review is from: Liverpool (Audio CD)
Liverpool was the second and indeed final album from the Scouse mid-80s megastars (even though much of their first album was played by session musicians).
This cut was lambasted by the critics upon it's release and it was never really going to get the tricky tag of 'the difficult second album syndrome' removed from it. It's certainly not up there with FGTH's epic double-album Welcome To The Pleasuredome from 1984, but it most definately has its moments, not least in the hit singles Rage Hard, Warriors of the Wasteland and the album's key moment, the brilliantly subtle Watching The Wildlife, which is worth the price of admission alone. These single cuts don't really compare with the band's era-defining 1983-1984 releases such as Relax, Two Tribes and The Power of Love, but they are worthy songs/tunes in their own right.
The band went their separate ways after this unfortunately ill-fated venture into second album territory (Holly Johnson enjoyed some shortlived solo success in 1989-1990) but this was a lot stronger than what most of their contemporaries (the rapidly fading former New Romantic bands who were quickly reverting to the 'big hair' look) were producing back then, that's for sure.
Not that bad at all, and well worth a look.

A Secret Wish
A Secret Wish
Offered by westworld-
Price: £9.98

9 of 65 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing stuff from German pop idols (circa 1985), 8 Dec. 2002
This review is from: A Secret Wish (Audio CD)
I recently purchased A Secret Wish partly on the back of the reviews below and also because I remember the brilliant single Duel, which was big in 1985 when I was doing my O'levels (it was one of the finest pop singles of the mid-1980's). Hence, I was expecting more of the same. Alas.....
Aside from the aforementioned classic 'Duel' (which is a truly inspired piece of work) and the European hit singles P-Machinery and Dr Mabeus (average singles at best) the rest of A Secret Wish is tantamount to listening to a young teen larking about on his/her Casio keyboard and drum machine for a few hours and coming up with a few extremely simple and uncatchy chords. The album makes for genuinely difficult listening and the overall effect is one of a long and disjointed noise with very few moments of true inspiration, and it has a very dated 80s synth 'EuroPop' feel to it.
It's just very strange that an album which includes such a brilliantly produced and ultra-catchy single such as Duel could be smothered by so much dross. If the quality control enlisted on that single could have been followed through for the rest of the album, Propaganda could have had a real classic on their hands. It's just a pity that they could not emulate their one moment of greatness across a few more tunes.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 5, 2011 12:56 AM BST

The Ultimate Collection
The Ultimate Collection
Offered by musicMagpie
Price: £8.12

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A decent retrospective of the Lev's finally arrives, 22 Nov. 2002
This review is from: The Ultimate Collection (Audio CD)
Level 42 were perhaps the 1980's music scene incarnate, their music synonymous with trendy young executives/wannabe boy racers cruising the boulevards of Milton Keynes and Brentwood in their Escort XR3i's complete with furry dice, 'Kev & Shaz' windscreen banners and taped copies of the Lev's 'World Machine' album pounding on their Goodman's car stereos.
The Ultimate Collection is seemingly just that, the first truly complete and chronological correct retropective compilation of the Isle of Wight's finest son's wide body of work, certainly bettering the 'Level Best' and 'The Very Best of Level 42' collections of years past. That said, much of what follows 1985's World Machine singles are pretty much surplus to requirements (serving only as pleasant wine bar/elevator background music), aside from perhaps It's Over and Heaven In Your Hands. The CD also benefits from the inclusion of the best of the Levs earliest material from 1980-1981 which was not present on earlier collections,and thankfully there are no needless and annoying remixes. The gradual winding-down of the band after 1990 is pretty audible here, with no real standout tracks on offer towards the final third and thus it is essentially the first half of this collection which is ultimately more rewarding, with some brilliant jazz-funk numbers and the best of the pop singles up to 1985. In fact after 1989, much of their output was pretty dismal.
Buy this in combination with their superb live outing, 1984's 'A Physical Prescence', and this will be all you need.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 18, 2009 12:30 PM GMT

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