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Colour By Numbers

Culture Club

1983

Colour By Numbers
Album Summary

Colour by Numbers is the second album by the British new wave group Culture Club, released in October 1983. Preceded by the hit single "Karma Chameleon", which reached number one in several countries, the album reached number one in the UK and has sold 10 million copies worldwide. It has been certified triple platinum in the UK and quadruple platinum in the US. It was ranked #96 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Best Albums of the 1980s.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.8

Votes

9649
Genres
Pop
New Wave

Reviews

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Fri Mar 05 2021
3

POV: you're at a family function and your aunt is trying to pull you onto the dance floor as Karma Chameleon starts playing. The 45-year old function DJ flicks through his CD wallet looking for George Michael. Yer da is shuffling awkwardly near the buffet. 3 stars.

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Fri Mar 25 2022
1

I have listened to this album twice now and I just don't get the generally positive reviews. The album actually makes me almost angry, that's how much I disliked it. This is the epitome of what was wrong in the 80's (even though there also was a lot of great music). It sniffed New Wave but doesn't seem to get it, saw soul from a distance, uses filler sounds like a trumpet or harmonica to make the music sound smarter than it is. Ugh.

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Fri Mar 05 2021
2

How revolutionary was Boy George as the leader of the biggest group in the world? Gender non-conformity is still mocked and misunderstood today...to think this was 40 years ago. Wish I had the same appreciation for this album but it's basically 2-3 good songs and a bunch of filler.

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Fri Jan 22 2021
2

A fine example of 80s pop. I'm not sure what makes it an "unmissable" album, though

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Tue Apr 20 2021
2

One banger doesn’t make a good album.

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Thu Oct 07 2021
2

That sure was sappy. I don't even like the big hit Karma Chameleon although I can't stop humming the chorus. They should have been in the TV commercial jingle business. One positive comment is that Boy George ventured in new territory by dressing so feminine. Doing this in 1983 was a big deal and could have had a bad ending. I know in the prior decade the New York Dolls et al were gender bending trailblazers in another way by dressing in drag but I still view Boy G as a pioneer since he was trying to get (and succeeded at getting) mainstream audiences to buy his records and go to his concerts. I'll give him +1 for pulling it off but the music really does suck.

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Fri Mar 05 2021
2

Why did I have to listen to this?

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Thu Apr 29 2021
5

Wonderful, imaginative, catchy, sunny record which brings happiness and joy at every listen

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Thu Dec 15 2022
5

For the nostalgia it evokes For the classic Pop songs For Boy George’s silken voice For the breezy, uplifting tunes For the mournful, heartbreaking lyrics For the drama and emotion and Helen Terry‘s soulful tones For the impassioned sax and harmonica For the hours dancing round my kitchen For the ability to put this on repeat and it still packs a punch For all this and more I thank you.

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Thu Sep 17 2020
4

Karma Chameleon is a certified jam. Second half is better than the first. Standout tracks: Church of the Poison Mind, Mister Man, Victims, Melting Pot.

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Mon Feb 22 2021
4

Groaned at this, and thought it would be dated, but I admit it's a great pop album. Hasn't dated at all.

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Fri Jul 02 2021
4

Old friend. Flaws and all. Still fun and evocative.

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Fri Feb 12 2021
2

Even the hit isn't good, I'm not coming back to this one anytime soon.

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Wed Dec 14 2022
2

This album is like, I forced an AI to listen to 1000 hours of 80's pop hits. The beats and synths are good, but the melodies and harmonies just feel aimless and trite. As if they were trying to make the hooks easy to remember, while not realizing that that's not what makes them catchy.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
1

Noooooo. I am too sober for this 🙈. Not my type of music

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Wed Sep 22 2021
5

New wave all the way, this album rules

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Wed Aug 03 2022
5

It still slaps, and there isn't one skippable song. That's right, the album tracks are just as good as the singles - and there were a ton of singles released from this gem. In the interest of full disclosure, 13 year old me wore the shit out of this record, which might play into my continued appreciation for it. Interesting how "Church Of The Poisoned Mind" has become more of a legacy song for Culture Club over "Karma Chamelon". The secret weapon is backup singer Helen Terry, whose voice perfectly complements Boy George's blue-eyed soul. The epitome of a great pop album. Anyone who disagrees secretly has a problem with androgynous people.

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Sun Sep 11 2022
5

So I'm enjoying the first few songs, then on comes That's The Way, where Helen Terry flexes her vocal muscles. This then leads into The Church of the Poisoned Mind, where the band rips into this bouncy, irresistible tune where Helen once again soars. Those two songs are worth the price of admission. This is a perfectly designed album, with a natural flow that is perfectly signed off by Victims, a song that deserves greater recognition for it's clever mix of big ballad and minor key sadness.

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Thu Sep 29 2022
5

This has been a favourite since the day it came out. Glad for an excuse to listen to it :)

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Thu Oct 27 2022
5

Love this album so much! I used to steal it from my mom's collection all the time so I could listen to it in my room.

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Sun Feb 26 2023
5

An album that should not wear well. But yet it escapes from an era of albums that have not: Rio and True for two. It has many of the tropes of early 80s Britpop: sax breaks check, featured female backing singers check, Motown backbeats check, dry as dust production check, gated drums check. And yet it effortlessly rises above all of tis to sound as brilliant today as bursting out of top of the Pops in 1982. Reasons why? George is a better singer than many others, and the songwriting is pretty foolproof. It delivers the four monster hit singles, but much more it’s got unstoppable momentum. Not until track eight – eight! - Mister Man, does the momentum slow from effervescent to album track. Even then, only for a moment are we down before Stormkeeper gets us back on track and Victims gives it the big closing number. Rounding up from 4.8 because yes.

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Wed Jul 19 2023
5

18 year old me had limited interest in Culture Club, I was a Northern Soul, punk, post punk, alternative, indie kid. Older me can now appreciate this album. Not only is it a great pop album, it's a fucking good soul album. 'Poison Mind' has definite Northern Soul vibes. The backing singers are superb, and George has a cracking voice.

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Thu Oct 19 2023
5

Easy listening 80s music that goes hard

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Tue Oct 24 2023
5

Classic 80s! Boy George rocks!

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Mon Nov 13 2023
5

I enjoyed this so much! Black Money and That’s The Way are my favourite tracks.

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Sun Nov 26 2023
5

Very repetitive, but that was the norm for the time.

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Wed Dec 06 2023
5

I didn't appreciate this album much when it was released, but I sure do now. Fantastic album that has said the test of time.

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Fri Dec 29 2023
5

I heard this many times back in the day, but haven’t revisited this album since the 80s. Culture Club and Boy George were a huge influence on 80s pop music and while I appreciated their hit songs my young, rural-raised self did not appreciate or even understand the androgynous style of Boy George. But I think I they still played an important, if under appreciated at the time, role in my evolution to become a more understanding and tolerant person. Back to the music - this album is packed with monster 80s hits. But this time I appreciated the entire album more than back in the 80s. There are some tender songs on here and Boy George’s update of the crooner vocal delivery serve these songs well. This trip back to the 80s has made me realize how much my ability to appreciate this music and the band has evolved!

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Sun Dec 31 2023
5

9/10 godDAMN, this is my shit

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Wed Feb 07 2024
5

I really enjoyed this album. He has the sweetest voice!

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Thu Sep 10 2020
4

Quite pop-ish, not my usual choice, but better now than when it first came out, improved with age.

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Thu Sep 24 2020
4

Pretty good should probs listen again haha

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Wed Feb 24 2021
4

hurch of the Poison Mind" Released: 1 April 1983 (UK) 22 October 1983 (US) "Karma Chameleon" Released: 6 September 1983 (UK), 3 December 1983 (US) "Victims" Released: November 1983 (UK) "Miss Me Blind" Released: 14 February 1984 (US) "It's a Miracle" Released: April 1984 (UK), 12 May 1984 (US)

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Mon May 24 2021
4

surprisngly good, didn't realize the karma chameleon song was on this album

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Mon Jul 26 2021
4

Erg leuk album. Zeker voor die tijd. Karma Chameleon doet het nog altijd goed op elk feestje. Tevens een extra ster voor Boy George. Wat een stijlicoon! Love it!

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Wed Aug 11 2021
4

Colour by Numbers is the second album by the British new wave group Culture Club, released in October 1983. Preceded by the hit single "Karma Chameleon", which reached number one in several countries, the album reached number one in the UK and has sold 10 million copies worldwide

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Wed Sep 01 2021
4

Rating: 7/10 Best songs: Karma chameleon, Miss me blind

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Sun Sep 12 2021
4

Classic POP. Excellent. 4/5. Standouts: Victims. That's the Way. Karma Chameleon. Church of the Poison Mind, Miss Me Blind. It's A Miracle...

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Fri Sep 17 2021
4

This album is better than the total listens given on Spotify. "Its A Miracle" is the best song on the album, IMHO. "Miss Me Blind" is also great. 7/10.

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Fri Sep 24 2021
4

ну местами норм попчик, и это я не про хитяру Карма хамелеон. В общем то слушатебельно и аранжировки ничо

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Sun Oct 17 2021
4

My boyfriend had a Twitter fight with boy George anyway this album is pretty good

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Fri Nov 12 2021
4

Whole album was pretty good! Karma chameleon is great.

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Thu Nov 18 2021
4

I wasn't ready for this one. Like most people, I associated Culture Club with the iconic persona of Boy George, a couple of sweet MTV videos, and generally appreciated them for a couple of light, poppy hits. But listening to this album in full and on repeat, I'm realizing there was so much more under the surface here. The 80s sound is known for a lot of kitschy reverb snare and overly produced synth, but in the midst of that, we had bands like The Jam, Style Council and Culture Club that just took pop seriously enough to treat it right. This LP is packed with quality cuts and covers an incredible range of styles: disco, jazz, soul, reggae, bossanova...each one executed with skill and love. Very colorful and I'm happy to be surprised by this one.

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Wed Dec 01 2021
4

Gran disco de pop. Conocía el hit del disco pero me sorprendió mucho todas las otras canciones.

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Sun Jan 23 2022
4

Saved Prior: Karma Chameleon, Church Of The Poison Mind Off Rip: It's A Miracle, Miss Me Blind, Mister Man, Stormkeeper Cutting Edge: Black Money Overall Notes: Pretty, inoffensive 80's pop. Boy George has a really nice voice, but I also really like the instrumental backing on this. Nothing to rock you to your core, but if you're looking for pop you could do much much worse than this. 3.75 that I'll round up.

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Wed Mar 09 2022
4

When Karma Chameleon hit the eardrums, I suspected that the rest of the album will hit the same lane: poppy, accessible, carefree. And it is that, but it can also reach areas that you wouldn't expect Culture Club to talk about. Maybe I'm dumb, maybe I'm ill informed about this band, maybe I should do more research. But this album is great. Culture Club can be more than expected. Favorites: Karma Chameleon, Black Money, Changing Every Day, That's the Way - I'm Only Trying to Help You, Church of the Poison Mind, Miss Me Blind, Stormkeeper, Victims, Colour by Numbers, Romance Revisited.

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Wed Apr 13 2022
4

Ok, I enjoyed this top to bottom. Despite the obvious flaws like thin voice, dated production and cheesyness, it makes up for a lot with lots of hooks, earnest effort, compositional creativity, and some je ne sais quoi I can only call charisma. Sam Smith is awesome, but I hope it’s safe to say it helps to have blue-eyed soul like this to stand on and move ever forward.

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Fri May 27 2022
4

This album is a great mix of New Wave and pop. I was truly expecting to dislike this album but it was catchy enough to keep my attention. The music is firmly within the pop traditions and oscillates between how much new wave is thrown in. There are moments that are pure power pop and moments where the post punk/new wave influence is apparent. Some of the arrangements on this album predict the rise of boy/girl bands in the 90s and really contextualized for me where that music came from.

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Sun May 29 2022
4

Hmm. This may be an interesting experience. Karma Chameleon is a time-honoured classic, but while the rest of the album is good, I can't ever imagine a situation where I'd play it again.

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Wed Jun 01 2022
4

Classic. Favorite song: Victims. 4.5/5

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Sun Jun 19 2022
4

Mér þykir mjög vænt um Culture Club og þessi plata er mjög góð. Nokkrar perlur á henni. Mæli með.

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Thu Jul 14 2022
4

This brings back some great memories. The album and its songs were popular at a time when I thought myself a macho teenage guy, into hard rock, too cool for pop, and really stupidly ignorant about sexuality and gender. Despite my own self-manufactured idiocy, I loved these songs then and love them now, and found myself truly enjoying Boy George's bravery and entertaining fun. Looking back, of course, I wish I had been stronger about standing up for those amongst me who are "different" from what I had been conditioned to support. What's done is done and I can only move forward, as I have been for decades, and I must continue to learn and grow to recognize and push through any remaining prejudices, biases, and societal expectations. Back to the music. I had forgotten that this was an early 80s album, not later in the decade as my memory had categorized it, which makes it even more remarkable to me because I think there's a good argument that Culture Club, especially Boy George, really paved the way for many to follow. These are well-written, well-performed, and genuinely engaging songs. Boy's voice is outstanding. I remember especially loving "That's The Way" with his voice and Helen Terry's just soaring. I used to listen to that one in my headphones over and over. Love him and love his work.

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Sun Jul 17 2022
4

Surprised me. Expected a nothing album but the music and lyrical content along with the delivery nailed it.

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Thu Aug 25 2022
4

Blue-eyed soul done right early 80s style. Boy George is a great songwriter and his production value in this (especially with powerhouse supporting vocals by Helen Terry) augment the album fully..

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Fri Sep 16 2022
4

More than just Karma Chameleon, this is a really nice soulful pop record. No weak tracks and Boy George's voice is lush. Rating: 4/5 Playlist track: Karma Chameleon Date listened: 15/09/22

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Fri Sep 30 2022
4

Some classic pop, but especially the last track is also a bit more serious. All in all, very nice.

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Fri Oct 14 2022
4

A lot better than I remember it back when it was released. Back then I was into heavier music and this was worse than bubblegum pop, it was the pits, however with my maturity and time it seems now that I can listen to it and appreciate it a little more. It’s still not something I would have as a saved album on my Spotify though but worth of more than 3 stars

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Fri Oct 21 2022
4

When this album came out I totally dismissed it as bubblegum pop and never listened to it. Forty years later, I sincerely thank this 1001 album generator for making sure I had it on my list. This album is really good!

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Fri Nov 25 2022
4

me ENCANTÓ fue divertidísimo aaa. 8.5/10

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Wed Nov 30 2022
4

An album that only could’ve come into existence in the early 80s. Everything about how the band decided to present themselves is so peculiar. From Boy Georges look to the album art to the utterly perplexing music videos it just gets weirder and weirder. That being said, pretty good album. High points are Black Money, Church of the Poison Mind, and of course the ever-popular Karma Chameleon.

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Thu Dec 01 2022
4

I was surprised to discover I like this album! I’ve listened to a little bit of Culture Club before, but never a full album. And I am surprised to discover this is a pop album I like! Of course Boy George does incredible with the vocals, but I really liked the composition also. And the melding of soul, pop, and gospel music into one album is amazing!

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Wed Dec 14 2022
4

I honestly really enjoyed this album. Some of the songs sounded like they could be the soundtrack to Titanic, some reminded me of popular WHAM songs, and some were just bopping. I like Karma Chameleon, Manshake, Melting Pot

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Thu Dec 15 2022
4

Confessions of an MTV junkie: I remember when MTV launched with "Video Killed the Radio Star." I was hooked. Every single day after school MTV was a big part of my routine. I wasn't a huge Culture Club fan when Colour By Numbers came out but the repeated play on MTV combined with my fascination with Boy George got these ear worms deeply embedded in my mind. As I matured and realized it's OK to love pop, I listened to a lot more Culture Club. What a joy to listen start to finish because I forgot that so many of the hits came from this album. I'm a big Sam Smith fan and watched him perform at the White House celebration of same-sex marriage law yesterday and it hit what a huge cultural influence Boy George has been to gender non-conforming/trans/queer people in the music industry. Duh! Department of obvious.

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Thu Dec 15 2022
4

I wish the river boat from the Karma Chameleon video was real. The album is more R&B/soul than I realized at the time. Real piano, instead of just synthesizers. Also appreciated the horns and backing vocals.

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Thu Dec 15 2022
4

This is great album. I've never listened to it end to end but surprisingly recognized a number of the songs. This is a fun band to listen to and Boy George has very distinctive voice. I'd more likely purchase a "best of..." album by the Culture Club than individual albums but I enjoyed listening to this one. It didn't knock it out the park to get a five from me but this is a strong four star album.

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Wed Dec 28 2022
4

Newsflash: music that came out a long time ago that was popular at that time is always going to sound dated, it's a dumb criticism. The hits from this album belong on any list of the best singles of the 1980s. The Church of the Poison Mind rocks and I defy you to find a catchier earworm than Karma Chameleon. There's some filler but a couple of the deep tracks, Victims and That's The Way - I'm Only Trying To Help really showcase Boy George's incredible voice.

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Mon Jan 16 2023
4

Much deeper and more interesting than I expected, pretty great version of that 80s sound.

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Fri Feb 24 2023
4

Put this on and immediately felt happier

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Thu Mar 23 2023
4

Really great album. It was a classic from the day it was released. 4.5

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Mon Apr 24 2023
4

I’ve been quite excited to listen to today’s album. Karma Chameleon was on rotation for a very long time when I used to curate my own playlists as a teen. The only other Culture Club song I know isn’t on this album (Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?). I’m excited to hear an album by them in full. Songs I already knew: Karma Chameleon Favourites: Karma Chameleon, Church Of The Poison Mind, Miss Me Blind What is there to dislike about an album where the themes throughout centre on equality, and everybody being a valuable person regardless of what colour they tend to be? There are plenty of songs that had me dancing, and plenty of slower songs that were frankly lovely - both in the themes and the instrumentation. It’s nice to have an album that just makes me feel positive and happy. And obviously, Boy George was way ahead of the time with expressing his androgyny and not conforming to gender norms, and you’ve got to love that.

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Wed Apr 26 2023
4

Better than I expected. Worth a listen.

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Fri May 05 2023
4

Having recently found out Boy George was the frontman of Culture Club it seemed quite a coincidence that this album would pop up but I was intrigued nonetheless. Going into this I wasn’t sure what type of style this album was all I know was the opening track ‘Karma Chameleon’ which is quite a nice pop sounding track with an incredibly catchy chorus. However I gotta say this album had me hooked, the energy on here was nothing less than vibrant and focused. The record length is a bit long so I was worried for this type of sound what it would sound like towards the end and it does drop a little bit but for the most part it holds it’s own. One of my favourites is ‘Miss Me Blind’ which is an incredibly funky track that I can’t help but bop along to. I got the same feeling from ‘Mystery Boy’ which gave some dance electronic vibes that was just as groovy. I was surprised the amount of social commentary on this album, I really did just expect some fun pop/disco sounding tracks but tracks such as ‘Melting Pot’ talking about how great of all races could live together and get along was not something I was expecting from this band but I gladly accept it as it adds a good amount of depth. Overall I do have to say I quite enjoyed this album, it almost feels like a bit of a guilty pleasure album I must say as it’s not the type of music I’m usually into but nevertheless a good handful of songs on here hit well for me.

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Fri May 12 2023
4

Its funny not recognising the song or band, but the first riff of the first song is so iconic. Rest of the album is diverse, all great in their own way especially for '83 - 4/5

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Wed May 24 2023
4

Smooth, sophisticated, stylish and surprisingly substantive. Has held up really well, in other words. It's easy to see how CC was always going to be easy to misread and underestimate, given Boy George's controversial (and oxygen-hogging) celebrity. But what a voice he had. It's interesting that none of their tip-top tracks ("Time," [note to editors: this not a "slow dance tune for teens" but rather one of the best pure pop songs of the last several decades – timelessly lovely, rich and bittersweet] "Do You Really" and "Mistake #3") are on this record, which works in their absence, primarily thanks to having such an upbeat tempo and a smile on its face. A more-than-moderate delight to come back across this so many years hence.

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Sun Jul 16 2023
4

Les années 80 regorgent de gros débiles et ceux-là m'ont bien régalé je dois dire.

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Thu Jul 20 2023
4

Pop music was king in the 80s. This was one of the cream of the crop, a New Romantic masterpiece. Unavoidable in it’s time. While definitely of it’s time, its themes (at times heavy despite the infectious sound of it all.) A rare band that not only seemed driven by the front man, but allowed the back up singers and instrumentalists shine. Really love the slick Motown update of Church of the Poison Mind.

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Thu Jul 20 2023
4

"Karma Chameleon" was a staple of my childhood thanks to my father, so I have a lot of nostalgia for that. The album as a whole is pretty good as well. favs: It's A Miracle, Karma Chameleon, Church of the Poison Mind, Miss Me Blind least fav: Victims

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Tue Sep 12 2023
4

Favourite tracks: karma chameleon; black money; church of the poison mind; miss me blind

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Thu Oct 05 2023
4

Very creative. Fun to listen to .

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Wed Oct 18 2023
4

Brilliant early 80s pop, great vocals. Slightly boring tail-end, but magnificent dance pop in the first half. More pop than New Romantic, ska or wine bar.

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