Music for the Masses 38 – 30 April 2005

The Live Bit, launched only the preceding week as a new feature, quickly turned out to be way too much trouble and was downsized to just one track, but the Electromix would continue for the rest of the show’s run, this week starring Leeds’s own Utah Saints as the centrepiece.

webcamg4webcamg1 webcamg2 webcamg3

Show 38: Sat 30 Apr 2005, from 6:00pm-8:00pm

Broadcast on LSR FM, online only. Artist of the week: Apollo 440.

  • Moloko – The Time is Now
  • System F – Insolation
  • Faithless feat. Boy George – Why Go?
  • Röyksopp – Remind Me (Someone Else’s Remix)
  • Apollo 440 – Astral America
  • Mylo – In My Arms (Sharam Jey Remix)
  • The Clarke & Ware Experiment – Communication (from Music for Multiple Dimensions)
  • New Order feat. Ana Matronic – Jetstream (Richard X Remix)
  • LCD Soundsystem – Disco Infiltrator
  • Heaven 17 – Being Boiled (Live) [The Live Bit]
  • Amorphous Androgynous – The Mello Hippo Disco Show
  • Apollo 440 – Pain in Any Language
  • Moby – I Like It
  • M83 – Teen Angst (Montag Mix)
  • Lemon Jelly – Make Things Right
  • The Flirts – Passion
  • Apollo 440 – Heart Go Boom
  • Ladytron – Blue Jeans [Electromix]
  • Utah Saints – Love Song [Electromix]
  • Piney Gir – Girl [Electromix]
  • Jam & Spoon feat. Rea – Be Angeled

The Electromix feature from this show still exists, and will be included on a future Playlist for stowaways.

Preview – New Order

Finally coming out this week is Music Complete, the brand new album from New Order – their first on the legendary label Mute Records, and sadly also their first without Peter Hook. And you can’t help but feel they’re missing Hook – his footprints are all over the lead single Restless. But it’s also extremely good – bask in its glory below.

Chart for stowaways – 12 September 2015

These are the top ten singles this week:

  1. Jean-Michel Jarre – Remix EP (I)
  2. Little Boots – Working Girl
  3. The Future Sound of London – Point of Departure
  4. Röyksopp – I Had This Thing
  5. Moderat – Bad Kingdom
  6. Little Boots – Better in the Morning
  7. Moderat – Last Time
  8. Delerium feat. Miranda Lee Richards – Send Me An Angel
  9. The Beloved – Love to Love
  10. Jean-Michel Jarre & M83 – Glory

The complete beginner’s guide

We’ve hit something of a watershed with the last ever in the Beginner’s guide series, which was posted a couple of weeks ago. In the interests of completeness, and in order that you can go back and find the ones you missed, here’s a list of all of them.

And just in case you missed it, for completism, here’s the Beginner’s guide to the beginner’s guide. If you’re wondering if they’ll ever come back – well, maybe. But for now, this is the complete set!

The Human League – Romantic?

A quarter of a decade ago, The Human League were in a bit of a conundrum. Their last album, the American Crash (1986) had fared reasonably but apart from lead single Human was nothing special. Then two years later, their first Greatest Hits (1988) had proved they had a legacy, but the lead single had flopped, so it seemed their past might be all they had. And now, by 1990, four years had passed since their last album – could they demonstrate that they were still relevant?

This turmoil does, unfortunately, come across on the album that followed, Romantic? The opening track Kiss the Future is reasonable, despite the “uh,” that punctuates the chorus, and it even has some early 1990s house piano and electronic elements, but it really isn’t great. It sets the theme for the album pretty well, to tell the truth.

It mixes into A Doorway(?) (that’s the actual title), which has some good ideas, but doesn’t quite come together as a coherent song somehow. Again, that’s a common theme here unfortunately. The lead single Heart Like a Wheel follows, also showing some promise in its bobbly synth intro, but the chorus doesn’t build into much. It was also the only hit single from this album.

Side A continues with the pleasant but forgettable Men are Dreamers, and then the totally dreadful Mister Moon and Mister Sun. It seems strange now, given how good most of the later Human League releases have been, that this one could have been so misguided. This hardly seems to be the same act who gave us Dare nine years earlier.

Side B delivers the one other single Soundtrack to a Generation, which is, bluntly, rubbish (in what way is screaming “holy cow” in your chorus a good idea?) and then Rebound, which is, by this point in the album, the best thing you’ve heard. It comes as a bit of a surprise actually, as you suddenly realise you used to quite like this group after all. I suspect it might be about Sheffield’s slow and graceless recovery from the Thatcher years, but it could easily apply to the band as well.

Having built the listener back up to where they probably should be, the one really good moment comes with the poignant The Stars are Going Out, which was apparently even considered as a third single. Even this song takes a few listens to appreciate it, but in addition to boasting the catchiest melody on this album, it also delivers a great lyric which might well really about The Human League‘s career during this period.

Later tracks Let’s Get Together Again and Get it Right This Time – and actually on reflection most of the second half of the album – sound as though they were given titles before the release was even being considered, and the songs are about as good. The former has some moments, and isn’t too far away from the template of earlier hits, but the closing track really isn’t great. This was the era of digital synthesis, and that was never going to do an occasionally cheesy band any favours.

So at the beginning of this review, I asked whether the 1990 Human League could demonstrate they were still relevant. Sadly, the answer is no – that job would fall to the 1995 Human League, and in fairness to them they did a spectacular job of it, but for now, their career seemed all but over.

You can only find Romantic? on import or second hand, from locations such as here. The sound quality doesn’t do it any favours either, so tread carefully.