thu 07/07/2022

CD: The Human League - Credo | reviews, news & interviews

CD: The Human League - Credo

CD: The Human League - Credo

Eighties synth-poppers please but struggle to prove their relevance

Listening to The Human League’s Credo is a bit like listening to one of Ray Davies’s more recent outings – you know they’ve both said all they have to say years ago, but there is still something very pleasing about just hearing them do their thing. I use the word "say", advisedly, as part of Credo’s charm is its prosaic half-spoken words, strong on storylines yet purposely piling banality on top of cliché, where “stranger” rhymes with “danger” and we learn things like “There is a place the night people go/ There is a place that only night people know”.

Musically things haven’t changed a great deal since the 1980s, with a mix of the harder Mk1 and poppier post-Heaven 17 sounds. There's a lot of fairly DIY synth-work that reminds you of when technology first liberated musical people who didn’t really play instruments. The analogue synthesisers have warmth and charm, the dance beats are insistent, and miraculously Phil Oakey’s baritone and the girls' (Sulley and Catherall’s) vocals haven’t worn a single inch in 30 years. Although it comes pretty close, Credo narrowly avoids being straight nostalgia by dint of its sheer commitment and honesty. Oakey is, after all, such a character that it’s no effort to believe that he’s really still involved in the clubs and bars of Sheffield and Leeds.

The album is best where the narrative is strongest, and the standout track is “Sky”, a story about an alien. Other highlights are love song “Never Let Me Go” and “Privilege”, one of the odder recent songs to be about financial greed. Throughout the album the songs tread a nice line between dance and pop. And yet, despite everything, it is just difficult to imagine exactly what kind of audience would really go for a Human League album in the second decade of the 21st century. Northern clubs, perhaps. Gay clubs, almost certainly. But despite its engaging manners and winning moments, this album is unfortunately likely to end up, like Secrets a decade ago, as a bit of a curio.

Watch the video of "Night People"


Comments

And yet, despite everything, it is just difficult to imagine exactly what kind of audience would really go for a Human League album in the second decade of the 21st century. Gay clubs, almost certainly
Says it all really doesnt it! Flop!

The Human League are a Butlins band on a bargain basement comeback. About as credible as the Chuckle Brothers releasing a CD.

Yeah, cause things that go down in gay clubs are never commercially successful... calling Lady Gaga!

Meerkovo you do get about don't you? Have you really got nothing better to do with your life than spend it being bitter and negative? Oh and fyi The Human League have NEVER played Butlins or anywhere remotely like it, they've done an only one '80's' tour and that was back in 2002. One thing they have done of course is made more money in a year than you are likely to make in a lifetime. And had a lot of fun spending it.

Human League are sad nostalgia band for old people.... you cant polish a turd. They are no Lady Gaga, (they could be Lady Gaga's grand parents tho) They should just retire and let Glee cover their stuff from 30 years ago.

Poor....1980s pensioners try to get 'down wiv da kids', dont waste your money if you are under 50 years old

Middle of the road - Katie Perry esq fluff

They are still, and will always be, a legend. They have a unique sound that has influenced the entire modern music scene and they have been copied a thousand times at least. They were there at the very start of the electronic music scene and still cast a massive long shadow. I'm not a die-hard fan of the band, but I do love music of all genres and your review sounds like it is from a very young person with no sense of musical history or culture (like many of the comments). Pay me the same money, and I will write a much better review - and BTW, most dance and electronic acts are first discovered/supported by gays before they reach the mainstream. What kind of music fan doesn't know this? Perhaps a homophobic straight boy (see comments for more of the same). Do you ever even go to clubs, Russ? As for the "northern clubs" reference - that makes you look like a real ignorant w*nker. Do you honestly believe there is a north/south music divide? Have you ever even been to the north of England? Please wake up Russ, it's been the 21st Century for quite a while now. You've made yourself appear pretty foolish and bigoted with your review.

Have heard this album at the weekend. Sounds like good stuff -glad an old band can still make good music. Looking forward to having it on my ipod.

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