There's much to enjoy about The Human League's comeback album, not least the way Phil Oakey expands the lexicon of pop to include such outré terms as witless, rancour and hellions, sprinkled among the 11 tracks.
But the enjoyable only just outweighs the annoying on the opener "Never Let Me Go", where the auto-tuned vocal is a let-down. Part of the League's unique appeal was the untutored authenticity of the girls' voices, but here they sound like everyone else, as does the anaemic backing, a pale shadow of their once innovatory electropop. But things improve elsewhere: the bleep'n'buzz of "Electric Shock" recalls Kraftwerk circa The Man-Machine, and the closer "When the Stars Start to Shine" finds Phil and the girls interacting in fine style over a groove that builds bridges between their classic punchy sound and contemporary dubstep.
DOWNLOAD THIS When the Stars Start to Shine; Electric Shock
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