The debut of this unique 80's pop band from near Liverpool is light-hearted fun, with catchy melodies and rhythms. It does fall victim to the 80's production sound, but it leans more to the lighter side of that electronic flair. There are the chilled out easy-going tunes, but also upbeat dance pop, with "African and White" as the best of these. If nothing else, China Crisis establishes satisfying moods around cool grooving and lush chilled songs.
More adventurous and sophisticated in their use of synthesizers than most of their contemporaries, their music might have had less immediate chart appeal, but has aged considerably better, similar to The Lotus Eaters "No Sense of Sin" or Japans "Tin Drum", but with slightly more optimistic and poppier tunes and equally breathtaking baselines. There were several band with a similar sound at the time which acquired the sad title of "Quite Pop" It was music for competent musicians who had overdosed on Bowies Berlin period.
First impressions suggest there isn't a bad track on this album but then, after a couple of plays, you realise that there really isn't an outstanding one either. The problem with electronic music like this, it all seems so basic and pared back that it gives the effect of being easy to create and that therein is the problem. You couldn't dance to it and you couldn't shag to it., It was music for a lazy rainy afternoon trapped in the confines of your bedroom. (Shops never opened on Sundays and pubs were closed at 2.00pm back in the 80s) Whimsical music to dream too in a lucid state of mind. China Crisis do try to introduce both Caribbean and African rhythms into the music which does have a character but I can't help feeling that I'm the one missing something and I'm doing the band a disservice. Pleasant debut featuring one of the longest titles and some of the strangest song titles known to man.
I did catch these guys supporting Altered Images and their laid back approach and professionalism Blew poop little Claire of stage. Unfortunately for China Crisis although they maintained a constant appearance un the top forty they were also ways going to remain in the lower remits of the second division. With a little more persona and image perhaps they could have achieved great things. I guess we will never know.
This like all China Crisis records is nice for nostalgia but that's about all. Another band where you know the song but perhaps not the name of the artist. Today we have Travis and Snow Patrol holding the baton. Some lessons are never learnt