The Human League

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 March, 2011, 12:00am

The Human League
Wall of Sound

Back from a 10-year recording hiatus, one of Britain's most successful electronic pop bands from the 1970s/early 80s is back. For those unaware, infectious chart-topping hits from their early days included Don't You Want Me and Sound of the Crowd.

Singers Joanne Catherall, Susan Ann Sulley and Philip Oakey still sound the same, as does the general sound. So many songs have catchy hooks that sound like they could have easily been singles in the 1980s. Single Minded, pun intended, is one. Though it exemplifies some good vocal duets, it's a bit of a plodder, as are the handful of tracks which sound a bit uninspired.

Far more dynamic is the album opener, Never Let Me Go, with vocals doused at times with vocoder and auto-tuner and at other moments in solid harmony.

Lyrics deal less with relationships and more with social mores and observations. Into the Night suggests a certain futility facing a late-night clubber. Egomaniac and Breaking the Chains call for a little more self-observation and awareness than the going-out crowd are wont to cast.

The Human League's ninth studio album breaks little new ground - but many will be glad they're back.