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In a word, infectious
on 25 January 2012
I'd not listened to this for ages - fifteen years or so - before I bought it from Amazon on a whim. Back in 1991 it was the soundtrack to a summer trip to the alps and listening to it now it still conjures up the memory of the smell of the french meths we used in the camping stove, like a musical madeleine. I wondered in the brief spell between ordering and delivery just how it would stand up against the memory I had of it.
Well, memories can be fallible and though I remembered it fondly, I'd forgotten just how good it was. A minute after I'd put it on I was grinning, a minute after that wondering just why I hadn't played this for so long. It isn't just about the headline hits, the rest of the album still stands up. Sure, there are odd tracks - Channel Z and Junebug, for me - where the standard drops a little, but they're still good tracks in their way just perhaps not quite as much to my taste as the rest. The playing is of a high standard throughout, the influence of producers Don Was and especially Nile Rodgers, who also plays guitar on the excellent Topaz, very evident from first to last and the vocal harmonies through the album are wonderful.
The whole album never really sounded like much else around at the time, and so it hasn't dated especially. If you remember it but haven't heard it for a while then it's worth digging out. If you were too young to catch it first time around, then catch it now. And if you own a copy already don't let it rest on the president's desk...