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  • Credo
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 16 May 2014
'Credo' is rather more dance floor orientated than any of the League's other albums and perhaps for that reason while a consistently enjoyable listen it lacks light and shade. This said, there isn't a stinker like 'Lets Get Together Again' or most of the abysmal 'Crash' album here and most of the songs include more than one reference to the bands celebrated 'Dare' sound which I quite like. To be honest, there's not much more to say really. Few of the songs make a great deal of an impression lyrically so its hard to really enthuse about how great individual songs are but if you like danceable, electronic thumpers with an 80's pop edge and the sound of our Phil's voice booming out of your speakers backed up by the girls occasional backing refrains then you will love 'Credo'.

All in all, I guess 'Credo' is more an 'interesting addition to the Human League discography' than an album we will remember them for.
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on 6 February 2014
Saw the Human League in concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London an they sung song from their latest albums.....I did not know they had a new album!!! In my opinion this is one of the best they have ever done.
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on 24 March 2011
Having seen several reviews in the press recently I was quite worried that this would be THL's last album purely because most people see them as has beens and not musically relevant any more. Personally it's pretty sad that THL are slated simply because they have been around for a such a long time. It doesn't make them automatically naff. Journalists are too busy banging on about Lady Ga Ga, La Roux and Little Boots to take anyone over the age of 30 seriously. Enough said on that score.

Personally I prefer this album to Secrets, but I am probably in the minority.
I don't think Never Let Me Go is the best track to use as a single, but probably the most obvious choice as it's the most poppy. Night People was also a strange choice as it's basically a club tune and not the kind of track that Radio 2 were likely to play on rotation. I say Radio 2 because Radio 1 and other "hip" stations probably refused to play it!

I think Electric Shock would have made a better single to be honest, but that's my opinion. The rest of the album is great and has been put together very well by I-Monster. Sky is a favourite track of mine and very addictive. Breaking the Chains and When The Stars Start to Shine are also very good, the latter reminds me of early Heaven 17.

I would say that the album takes a few listens to really appreciate the quality of the production values. For those willing to persevere you will find the album enjoyable and wanting more.
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on 24 March 2011
Think Hysteria after Dare, and now Credo after Secrets (or even Octopus, as that was a cracker too). Oddly the sparseness of a lot of the arrangements here is also reminiscent of some tracks on Hysteria, and that's the problem as this album is from 2011! I am a huge League fan, whether Travelogue (my all-time fave), Dare (the ultimate 80s electro) or Octopus/Secrets (both very welcome). As such I was waiting for this album like all fans, and was delighted when they signed to Wall Of Sound.

First impressions are not that good, as we get fairly awful packaging and some very uninspiring artwork (only Joanne comes through it reasonably favourably). You've probably never seen a slimmer fold-out digi, which will scratch the CD within days. Why no sturdy jewel case option?

Onto the music itself - there are some half-decent tracks here, and it generally flows well, but why oh why did I Monster crank Phil's vocal so high in the mix on every track (bar Never Let Me Go)? I have listened to the album 4 times now, once on headphones, and the clarity/volume of his vocal against some very sparse backing tracks often grates, when it should be a plus. If he'd produced these himself as demos I could understand, but the producers have introduced the beginnings of a fresh, sophisticated sound, only to spoil this with the vocal balancing.

The songs themeslves vary from reasonable to mildly embarassing, highlights being Never Let Me Go (oddly), Night People (it sits much better on the album, trust me), Sky (which I love, a bit like Louise Part 2), Egomaniac (rather topical at this time, unfortunately, but nicely energised) and the completely OTT When The Stars Start To Shine. This closer is great, fun, whimsical and refreshingly different from the rest of the album....should be a single.

Most songs sit as segued pairs, which is a really nice production touch.

However many arrangements almost sound half-finished, and the songs often have repetitive lyrics (Night People and Single Minded being two good examples of this). Phil has a new co-writer on this album, but I'm not convinced this has worked as well as they'd hoped. No Neil Sutton or Jo Callis credits anywhere this time, who both lent a more melodic twist to things.

The tunes, as they are, are often mainly carried by the lead vocal, and digital stutters/flanging/phasing and all other manner of studio gimmicks do not make a mediocre song a good song. The basslines are excellent, but the rest of the keyboards often fade into the background. Needless to say the harmonies between Phil and the girls are still great though!

Unfortunately WOS really seemed late on board when it came to marketing or promotional activity. True, there have been a quite a few Radio Interviews, including a prime-time one on Radio 2 very recently, and these will certainly help in the final push. But prior to the album release we got half-hearted single releases (with no official CD release), a hurried change of second single in Germany, a rather eclectic selection of remixes, and no real UK TV promotion. Compare this to Duran Duran's Saturday telly gig 2 days before the release of their latest album, and they're on a fairly unknown record label now too! Maybe this is because this album simply isn't WOS dance material, but a fairly solid electro-pop affair - who knows? Whatever their reasons, it's a real shame the label didn't do more, and much earlier (ie 2010 to promote the first single).

You'll gather I am a tad disappointed as this album could've been so much more. A decent remix on some of the tracks would've saved it from 3-star territory, but for now I'm off to enjoy Octopus/Secrets again, and enjoy a more creative 'new style' HL experience that is strong from start to finish!
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on 22 March 2011
Slated by the UK critics,and fans alike back in the day, for the introduction of two women into The League,Phil Oakeys determination to morph his band from an eerie underground (albeit fantastic) cult underdog into a chart pop phenomenon only fleetingly paid off dividends with the resulting 'transformation' debut 'Dare'.That was 1981/2.
And so,sporadically over the past thirty years or so, The League have managed to attain quite a degree of respect for their ability to infrequently grace us with the odd pop gem here and there despite some pretty awful decision making (Jam and Lewis) and label inefficiencies (Papillon)during the release of their best album since the aforementioned 'Dare','Secrets' was sadly overlooked,a travesty i believe.It was after all,a brilliantly conceived album,one which after the first few listens simply screamed pop genius from every angle.
'Credo' is definately up there with the best of them,i'm thrilled to say.
On first listen you'd be forgiven for thinking this is a dated throwback to their glory days and possibly also slightly 'naff'.Some of the lyrics are plainly and very intentionally naff,some of the music is very obviously drawing on past glories but,therein lies its charms.
This album continues the career rectifying path set by 'Octopus' and 'Secrets'..it blatantly grabs the best bits of everything 'Human League',polishes it with a microfibre cloth and some serious buffing and says,
"Here's The Human League..and this IS a Human League album".
And leaves you,the listener,thoroughly enjoying the experience but still wanting more.
If that was their intention,how bloody genius because,this IS a faith restoring album of class League pop gems.
Naff,yes.Quirky,yes.Charming? Abso-bloody-lutely!
Savour it and pray it won't be another ten years!
One little gripe though...'Get Together' is horrible,it crosses the line between cute and dull and comes out the wrong side! 10 out of 11 is still a fantastic achievement though hey!
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on 15 October 2011
I wasn`t expecting much,and bought really on a whim,but pleasantly surprised.
Much better than I dared hope.
Into The Night reminds me of the tune on Grannie Murry, the childrens programme my daughter used to watch and another track reminds me of Hold your Head Up by Argent, but still good songs nonetheless.
The only downside for me is the mastering level is way up to the max,even by todays ridiculous standards.
Overall though, good purchase.
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on 11 September 2011
(Please note that the order of songs is not strictly true in my review).

1. Night People : Yeh its quite an upbeat number with great synths,(there's a good synth towards the end of the song), true to form for the HL. I like it. Perhaps like a lot of songs from this new album I've no idea what the lyrics are about; yet I enjoy the song.

2. Sky : This is one of my favourite songs from the entire album.
"I told her my name, I asked her the same. She said they call me Sky. Said she's in danger, maybe a stranger might know a place nearby. And she talked and she smiled little more than a child. And the cares of my life went away on that day. In that room coming out of the gloom and the gift that she gave followed me to the grave from now on."
And there's a nice hook line : "Life goes on after Sky."
I also like how the song moves from the instrumental in the end part of the song.

3. Into The Night : This seems to be a dreamy song, happily ambling along in its own world. Its good : a good, solid beat.

4. Egomanic : There's some nice little keyboard ryths at the start of the verse but I feel this song doesn't really go anywhere.

5. Single Minded : On the one hand this is quite a repetitive number but on the other hand I quite like the verse and how it goes into the chorus. "A little joy, a little pain. A little love to keep you sain. The only plan since time began."
"Give me a kiss and walk away. Single minded in every way."
"You can sit and dream about the value of your independance. You can shout and scream all day about what is and isn't fair."

6. Electric Shock : I love the start of this song. One big no no - it sounds very similiar to all that has gone before!
"The static hits, burning up and down my thigh. For a touch of the divine."
"A curioristy, a boy for you and girl for me. A beautiful philosophy, its all under electricty."
I love the 45 second or so instrumental finish, it works very well.

7. Get Together : Best song in the album alert!! (How many times have I listened to this number on my Ipod?! - A lot is the answer!) - I love how the lead singer's voice comes in at the start of the song, right on cue.
"It's so easy to give up. Nothing ever goes right. Nothing ever seems worth the effort, nothing is worth the fight. Set backs happen all the time. Life is still there to seize. Nothing ever comes easily, so climb up off your knees. Stand up you can leave your fears behind, find a better way. With the strength combined."
"You can regain all your pride, take it easy."
"Get together for the benefit. Work together, unite the opposite. Stay together, for the sake of it, and get it right."
There's a nice short drum instrumental and I love the repeating lines to fade.

8. Privilege : I love the robotic way which, "Privilege" is said.
"What was once a hallow corpse is very much alive."
"One man demands the crown."
There's a pause halfway through the song and it goes nicely back to, "Privilege, privilege, privilege."

9. Breaking The Chains : "It really doesn't matter what I'm doing here." - One word.. reptitive!! (Another word.. yawn!!) - That said there's some great lyrics :
"If you quit the competition you can never lose."
"It really doesn't matter what they've got on you."
"One at heart, can't stop breaking the chains!"

10. When The Stars Start To Shine :
"Keep on moving, hold your head up. We see a new horizon."
"Its been a lovely day, don't throw the night away. That's when the stars start to shine!"
"Never falter, there's many hours to morning. Forward, forward and we should see the dawn in. Hold up your head, we see a new horizon!"
It almost seems like a chanting of the lyrics! (I do like them though!)

11. Never Let Me Go : There's some good female singing. That said it's one of the lesser songs for me on the album.
"I'm the one you want, I'm the one you need. Never let me go, never let me go."
"You should try another point of view, take a look at mine, but it's up to you."

One critism I have is a lot of the songs seem to merge into one big ramble. Yet that said, the stand out songs are Sky, Single Minded and Get Together. Do these three songs make up for the relatively poor showing of the album? - I'm afraid not. Alternatively, as you've read in my review there are some great lyrics! (Which seem to come from nowhere!)
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on 1 April 2011
If you plan to buy the album based on your opinion of the current `Never let me go' single...DON'T BOTHER. The two bare little resemblance. I love the single; it reminded me a bit of the outstanding `Tell Me When' from Octopus (through not as catchy, complex or uplifting). Some people I've talked to found 'Never let me go' a little too `obvious' (HL by numbers) selling out for the sake of a hit, but ultimately it does have something the album doesn't and desperately needs, and that's production values.

I take on board what others have said about this being an album that needs `time to grow on you' but that doesn't negate the need for quality sounds. If their intention with the instrumentation was to hark back to early days, it failed, because even in the 80's they had enough sense to crank up the reverb and chorus on the tin box presets of a Casio keyboard. The sound palette on Credo is utterly flat, sparse and unoriginal. Add to this the appalling disparity in volume levels between music and vocals (the music occasionally disappearing to a point where all subtlety in the mix is lost) and what you end up with is a collection of songs that still sound like they're in the demo stage.

There are moments of strength. For me, the test of a good song is if it stands out regardless, even if it's just guitar and vocals. `Sky' `Get together' and `Breaking the chains' are the three which stand out for me. But even these suffer from a lack of imagination musically. The real shame of Credo is that this could and should have been an amazing album, not simply a return to form, but a true reinvention. With the right producer and the proper attention to detail most of these songs could have worked. Instead I just feel cheated, lied to by the promised production on the single and let down by the lack of depth in the album. In their Radio 2 interview, Phil spoke of how he had no patience with the production process, how he lost interest in anything that involved `sitting down' for any length of time. That's a shame. His point was that music should be about `doing', being in the `now' moment of bringing a song to life, fingers on the keyboard, stood up, making it real. I get that and I admire the integrity, but unfortunately that still needs to translate into an equally worthy experience for the listener and this album doesn't. The listener needs to be guided through emotional highs and lows in the light and shadow of the mix. Production wise, Credo is more like the long dark tea time of an elevator music underworld.

It's clear that time and effort has gone into the vocals, often catchy, usually lyrically interesting, always utterly, utterly Human League and this, if it has one, is its saving grace. You can hear there are good songs in there desperate to get out, but again, the balance is all wrong. There's not enough layering, the backing is often sparse or non existent, tonally it's often so harsh it grates and if you turn up the volume to try and `get at' the music, the vocals blow the speakers. I know for a fact there are producer fans out there that would kill to get their hands on a HL track. In this modern age of computer production it would be so easy to send out a bare bones set of tracks and see what the HL music fan community come up with. Cherry pick the best, compile it on an album. Phil doesn't have to `sit' in a studio. Everyone's a winner. I guarantee you would reap better results than this. Perhaps next time.

For the die hards, this album is clearly hitting the spot regardless, and good for you. Enjoy. For me, as a medium entry level fan I still demand a little something more of my gods before I'll bow down.
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on 8 June 2016
Cd arrived on time,brilliant music from the human league,I recommend it
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on 22 October 2012
It's been 10 years since Secrets so was Credo worth the wait? Overall, the answer would have to be 'yes'.

I was late in buying the album due to being put off by the mixed reviews it had on release but seeing as I'll soon be seeing the band live again, I thought I better give the album a proper listen.

There's no mistaking the Human League sound but with Credo you do feel it is a fresh, modern take. The production is good and there are some very interesting electronic rhythms going on. The vocal harmonies and interplay work well and the melodies are strong and very catchy.

Unfortunately, some of the lyrics are among the worst I've ever heard. Totally banal in places, rhyming "mouses with houses" and "shock with sock"!! Phil definitely could have done better in that department, especially as he had 10 years to write them!

Credo was probably worth the wait but I do not think it is as good as Secrets.

If you can get over the clunky/jarring lyrics and I must admit, I just about managed to, you are left with a half-decent album that will worm its way into your brain.

Overall, a good effort.
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