Forget the dodgy New Romantic-esque album cover (sorry lads, but it's terrible), Gentlemen Take Polaroids (1980) is a defining-moment in Japan's history, and one of the finest albums of the early-80's. A clear successor to their excellent Quiet Life (1979) experiment in semi-synthesised, multilayered sound, GTP is both beautiful, haunting and exciting. The lengthy, eponymous title track is a brilliant and unlikely pop record in it's own right, whilst gems such as the breakneck Methods of Dance and the beautiful piano of Nightporter (a Top 30 hit) gel themselves into a rich piece of work which is greater than the sum of its parts. Many listener's may find the album a tad plodding upon their first inspection (especially on Burning Bridges, which is perhaps just a little 'too' downbeat), but overall there is a great mix of styles and tempos, and the production is sublime. You won't find any songs here on your latest 'Greatest 80's Album Ever' compilations, as they're too good for that......
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