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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 2 March 2012
They say a picture paints a thousand words... Well, the front cover of 'Crush' depicts the perfect description of this excellent album. If I had but one word to describe the album, it would be 'Dark'. Many will know the opening songs - 'Secret' and 'So In Love'. Often featuring on OMD's 'Greatest Hits' albums, these tracks are typically representative of OMD's mid-Eighties offerings (excellent rhythm and melody, fantastic use of instrumentation and lyrically very strong). "Heaven's cold without any soul; It's hard to believe I was so in love with you". This album is at its most effective when the listener is feeling particularly emotional - it provides all the answers in an almost sinister, atmspheric form.

A recent life experience complements the perfect review of this album. In late 2009 I met a young lady and we became very close friends - over the coming months (moving into early 2010) I fell helplessly in love with her. I do not love easily, and this experience was new to me. Sadly, the girl in question did not feel the same way. We had some epic times together as friends, but the whole experience literally turned my World upside down. Enter 'Crush'. Despite being launched before I was born, the album could have been written for me.

'To Hold You' is written from the perspective of a man in the shadows - having to helplessly watch the object of his desire entering into destructive relationships with others. The song has some very moving lyrics over a lovely melody. 'Bloc Bloc Bloc' is a heavily synth-laden song depicting an air of frustration. '88 Seconds...' and 'The Native Daughters of the Golden West' are rock-style guitar tracks, powerful and emotive. The title track, 'Crush', can be best described as an OMD offering in the style of some Seventies alternative acts, such as 'Yes' and 'The Sensational Alex Harvey Band'. The song has a very dark overtone (the sound of the rain notwithstanding) - the song seems to preview a surrender of the situation ("Rain, rain, Go away, I couldn't take this one more day"). It is unlike anything you will have heard before. My favourite song has to be 'La Femmme Accident'. This is written about the girl. She is a femme fatale - unreliable, uncaring, self-centred... but at the same time irresistable. "She clings to your heart, She won't let you depart, Oh, this is mine, But she's with you all the time, She's crying like some fragile child...", "She's paradise for a day". The song is vastly different to the 12" version; it takes a completely different overtone. Finally, "The Lights Are Going Out" is the height of melodramatisation. Surrendering to the situation - "I can't see me with another girl, As everything slows down across the World".

Anybody who has ever fallen helplessly in love will relate to this album. It happens to us only once in a lifetime, and this album still takes me back to the summer of 2010. I bought the album two years ago and, judging by its limited availability, I now get the impression that it is becoming a rare classic. I would urge any fan of synth or alternative music to buy it. If you like your song lyrics to have meaning, and address an often overlooked, dark side of relationships, buy it. If you like OMD, you will not be disappointed. Finally, if you are experiencing unrequited love, buy it right now. "The lights are going out..."
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on 12 April 2017
My favourite album of theirs, esp the title track!
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on 14 July 2017
great cd
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on 30 August 2017
After 4 great albums, my Kraftwerk / Joy Division / Neu influenced hero's decided they really wanted to be Kagagoogo when they released Junc Culture. Then, to rub it in, they made Crush. And album full of trite, banal doggerel. They broke my heart with this dross !
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on 1 May 2015
following on from their ultra poppy and very successful junk culture album (yes, i'm a bit in the "they sold out" camp with that album) crush is the last great album the band would release and for me they regained some of their credibility...........it deosn't have the sickly sweet full of beans poppiness of it's predesessor. instead it is a mixture of sophisticated mature pop exemplified by so in love, secret and hold you (yes, to a degree pandering to the usa fm radio market), dark and powerful guitar orientated numbers (88 seconds and native daughters) and moody and atmospheric synth numbers (the title track crush and the lights are going out). with that i would say this is the most eclectic omd album in terms of it's textures and moods but beautifully congealed with brilliant song writing, arranging and production. omd at thier creative best............crush is a gem.
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on 6 April 2001
I was both surprised and thrilled to find this particular album in Amazon, after having not much luck in most music shops. This album is not the best, especially when 2 of the hits (So in Love, Secret) can be found in the "best of..." collection. However, the rest of the titles made it worthwhile for fans to consider it an item of collection, with most of them doing the electro-pop duo's reputation justice. If you like "La Femme Accident (remix)" in the "best of..." collection, you will LOVE the original in this one. And one last thing, the fact that "Hold You" wasn't that popular a hit is beyond my comprehension.
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on 8 March 2017
A mediocre album that just doesn't work as a collection of songs - each is too disparate. The following year, however, would see OMD's synth-pop masterpiece "The Pacific Age", whose chart performance was unfortunately hamstrung by the disappointment with "Crush".
"Secret" is a wonderful moment of electro-pop, much better than the forgettable but not entirely without charm "So in Love", and "99 Seconds" and "Native Daughters" are in themselves quirky and memorable even if they don't sit well together. "Bloc Bloc Bloc" and "La Femme Accident" both have charm but are hardly inspiring. Add to these a series of moderately quirky but never interesting pieces and the whole is a disappointment, a sum of discordant parts.
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on 25 March 2014
Crush was the penultimate album by the original OMD duo (although they have since reunited to produce two decent albums). More importantly, however, is the context in which it came out. The previous album, Junk Culture had been a massive success for the band. Although now looked at as a fairly decent stab at commercial synth pop, at the time that album was seen as a sell out. Its breezy pop tunes were a contrast to the scary future themes and discordant musique concrete of Dazzle Ships. Thus, when Crush came out, the band were already considered a busted flush by many of their original fans. This is why its combination of commerciality and experimentalism came as such a surprise. It is a better album than Junk Culture or Dazzle Ships simply because it combines the best of both. It is certainly an infinitely better album than the duo's swan song, Pacific Age, which was a limp farewell from a bored band.
Singles So In Love and Secret were, if anything, even more commercial than the Junk Culture singles and none the worse for it. Yet the album has a dark heart, best exemplified by The Lights Are Going Out - a gloomy portent of war - and the rocky 88 Seconds in Greensboro. Elsewhere, the title track and Bloc Bloc Bloc have a playfulness about them which makes arty music seem fun rather than difficult.
The sound of a band having their cake and eating it, Crush did not fair as well commercially as its predecessor, but it deserves a better reputation.
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on 8 August 2013
Music fans are sometimes incredibly weird things considering when and how they decide against a favourite artist's work, and I can only assume many UK and European fans felt so aggrieved Andy and Paul went to chase US success with this album, that they actually regard it as the weak-as-water sellout their actual last 80s album was, yet if "Crush" was indeed a sellout, maybe more bands and singers could do it for this album is absolutely excellent, and quantifiably their most consistent and generous work. The consensus seems to be that OMD couldn't top their 1981 and 1983 reputation-setting long players, but in actual fact, both of those are only excellent in layers, the former provoking with long instrumental passages often smothering very few lines of sung words, the latter deliberately dumping tunes for multitiudes of radio snippets, concrete collages, sonic blips and other tricks to heavily impose Cold War themes on the listener, and fine, very worthy, but it's enough to make you want to shout "just give us some bleeding songs-you're a group after all!"

And boy does "Crush" do that. After their 1983 blip, the guys had a rethink and came up with the far stronger "Junk Culture" album, where they married commercial pop their OWN individual wasy perfectly. And "Crush" does the same, only moreso, as there's no instrumental wasting the space for a song. Nothing wrong with broadening your scope, but their artistry is never sacrificed. Yes 'So In Love' and 'Secret' may be romantic and easily hummable, but both have a mastery that many other bands just couldn't pull off; certainly the chorus lyric of 'So In Love' is hardly that of the typical MOR gush sound that US acts grate out in their thousand, as it broods "Heaven is cold, without any soul, it's hard to believe I was so in love with you." Wounding and beautiful and just-them and no one else. But opening your eyes tells you the whole album smokes with their personality. Politicial commentary returns, and the crazy (and kind of rude) 'Bloc Bloc Bloc', the rather foreboding and ambiguous appraisal of feminisim in 'Women III', the guitar-heavy swoop of '88 Seconds In Greensboro' and the gothic Mid-Western fright of 'Native Daughters Of The Golden West' surely tick all the boxes all fans of previous albums would require, then there's the usual bold experimentalism that they'd never relent on, showing up on the few tracks that remain, as in the classical sounding, yet darkly inspiring single 'La Femme Accident', the title track itself that builds around a loop of Japansese commercials, whilst retaining sung lyrics, and the closing 'The Lights Are Going Out'-if ever a ghostly tune could be set to lyrics, it is here, and lovely to hear Paul "ahhing" on it too.

Finally the lovely ballad 'Hold You' is a morose, elegant and heartfelt little treat to please fans of the first two romantic singles. But while the often annoying "Dazzleships" is (fairly for the boys) now highly regarded, "Crush" remains crushed by indifference, a real pity, as it was their 80s swansong album that really strained. High time this classic album, along with "Junk Cultrue" was remastered, as they are both perfect balances of art, commerce, experimentation and the conituation of one the most individual sounds of a band from the best era of music ever. And, for once, I don't feel shortchanged-no instrumentals, vocals are dominant over the music, and we finally get a full album of ten songs from the misers! To think-seven albums they did throughout the 80s-eight counting a complete 80s b-side collection, yet only this release gives us a full 10 tracks, all of which work, and for that solid reason, it pretty much squashes most of their earlier revered albums with more than a little Crush, and it's a high time more people reinstated a big one on it.
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#1 HALL OF FAMEon 27 August 2003
Crush was the penultimate album from the original OMD line-up, released in 1985 it was part of the deliberate pop-dilution that had been apparent since the flop of 1983's classic Dazzle Ships. I have quite fond, sub-Proustian memories of it- as it was one of the first few albums I owned on my hilarious horizontal Amstrad stereo I got for Xmas in 1985 (others included Hunting High & Low, The Hurting, Singles 81-85). Not that I can recall the last time I listened to it- perhaps if I listened to it now I'd probably loathe it. So here's a review from memory...
Crush was a loose-concept-pop album produced by Stephen Hague (New Order, Pet Shop Boys)- there was even a tie-in video album, a minor diversion in the pre-CD world (perhaps this could be reissued on a future version alongside odd b-sides of the era such as Drift & Firegun?). Not that I'm sure what the concept is now, any more than then...
Many of the tracks are extremely poppy, moving towards the MOR pop of hits such as If You Leave and Forever (Live & Die)- singles So In Love and Secret are in this mode, as are Women III and Hold You. The rest is somewhat stranger- Bloc Bloc Bloc is an odd song with a call/response vocals and allusions to modernist icons like James Joyce and Man Ray; the same odd pop as was evident on 1984's White Trash. Bloc Bloc Bloc remains the most synth song here- OMD having pretty much ditched the synths and taken up with supplementary session musicians.
Guitars are noticebly used on 88 Seconds in Greensboro and The Native Daughters of the Golden West- the former track is almost metal and pleasingly out of character! Crush as an album remains quite sinister, possibly because of the pop songs that litter it.
The title track has more in common with Tom Waits or Tricky than The Thompson Twins- I believe this one is 'sung' by Martin Cooper. Very odd- a kind of Waits-like drawl over a bizarre repeated sample that reminds me of Prince's Camille-period or the odd Depeche Mode track like It Doesn't Matter Two. In fact, I think it predicts Barry Adamson's vocals on 1996's classic Oedipus Schmoedipus, or maybe that's just me...
The third single, La Femme Accident, was a flop- possibly as it was an out and out classical track!- pity the bizarre 12" version I recall buying in a 12" double pack in Bristol isn't included. Endearingly odd...The final track is probably the best- The Lights are Going Out suitably sinister with a strange female vocal on it from Maureen Humphreys (who contributed those female vocals to 1984's Tesla Girls)- an apocalyptic track meets a ghost story.
Crush is very strange, I might even listen to it again; it would be the last time OMD would bother- 1986's The Pacific Age was too bland. After that OMD became Andy McCluskey and very poor, though not quite as bad as Atomic Kitten (what is???????). Crush is far from the best OMD album- all of the albums from 1980 onwards could claim that (I'm a Dazzle Ships man myself!)- but it might be due critical reassessment, even if it's more of a Beauty Stab than a Lexicon of Love...
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