Top positive review
8 people found this helpful
on 19 December 2005
Excellent new album from Heaven 17 - it took a while coming (the band has spent several years working on this one), but it was well worth the wait!
Opening with the funky "I'm Gonna Make You Fall In Love With Me" Glenn and co. instantly update the Temptation sound and do exactly what they say in the song title: a good album opener. "Hands Up To Heaven" has had some remix treatment recently, and here on the album you can hear the original mix. It's a wonderful pop track, Duran Duranies would put their hands up too. "The Way It Is" is pure divatronica: a standout track, with hints of Depeche Mode and Donna Summer. "Freedom From Love" has breakbeats and crooning; Glenn's voice seduces you to come live with him in this slower melancholic number; perhaps a track or two too early on the album, nonetheless it's a real grower. "Don't Fear The Reaper" starts well, but gets a bit beached around the halfway point; it seems to lack some of the polish from the rest of the album. Like a lost Yello snowball, the only thing missing from "Into The Blue" is a Billy Mackenzie backing vocal. Glenn Gregory delivers exceptional vocals, while Ian Craig Marsh and Martyn Ware produce a terrific atmosphere complete with Spanish guitars; great song-writing, this is the _other_ stand-out track! "What Would It Take" is reminiscent of the classic but under-appreciated HOW MEN ARE album but it's 21st century now and this slick number on Before After is pure R&B; heavenly female vocals on backing and shared lead.
The ten tracks here were all made with complete 'musical freedom' This could have resulted in average sounds, but thankfully Heaven 17 are far too professional for that to happen. Before After is certainly up there with the Luxury Gap album; it's their best in years.
Note this UK edition has a bonus track 10. Are you ready?