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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Pelican West

Haircut 100

1982

Buy At Rough Trade
Pelican West
Album Summary

Pelican West is the debut studio album by British new wave band Haircut One Hundred, released in February 1982 by Arista Records. It peaked at No. 2 on the UK Albums Chart and No. 31 on the Billboard 200, and was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry.The album featured three hit singles: "Love Plus One", "Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)" and "Fantastic Day". It was reissued on CD in 1992, retitled as Pelican West Plus and including five bonus tracks. Pelican West was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.97

Votes

10268
Genres
Rock
New Wave
Pop

Reviews

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Thu May 20 2021
4

British white boy jazz-funk/pop complete with chunky sweaters and knitwear. This is super groovy music for the body and dancefloor that doesn't take itself too seriously, and is a hell of a lot of fun.

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Thu Apr 08 2021
5

Sounds like a budget Duran Duran at times. I approve of a budget Duran Duran

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Mon Mar 15 2021
3

There are some positives and negatives imho. Positives: The lads know how to play and they lay down some very good rhythm.  Negatives: Some of the songs didn't age very well  and were probably a little to "pop-ish'' to start with. Marine Boy is a good example. The rhythms are reminiscent of a Carlos Alomar led rhythm section blended  with very capable horns, woodwinds, bongos / congas, and other alt percussion that Talking Heads brought to their sound around this time. But when the singing comes back, it sounds like music you might expect on a Love Boat episode. Fortunately, only half the songs suffer from the  "vocals jealous of the rhythm section" condition.  It was impossible not to love the New Wave since it was such a relief from all that disco crap that overstayed its welcome.  The sound was fresh and fun when it started but some of it did end up being pop that didn’t age well. Notwithstanding my Love Boat reference, I enjoyed the listen.

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Thu Jun 15 2023
2

More garbage British new wave. I'm done with it.

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Sun Feb 07 2021
5

This cover does not tell you how FUNKY this album is. I really enjoyed this, new wave with that funk influence. This reminds me a lot of Orange Juice. The instrumentation for a bunch of white boys from England was a pleasant surprise. Dug it, will listen again. Favorite song: Favourite Shirts (Boys Meets Girls) Least favorite song: Calling Captain Autumn

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Thu Dec 31 2020
4

Catchy, inventive and fun. Seem slightly too mainstream and poppy to be labelled 'indie', which is perhaps why they don't seem to pop up on other lists of 'most influential/important' records, but at the same time, they steer well clear of the stereotypical synth driven sound I associate with bands of this era. A good find that I would never have listened to if it wasn't for this site.

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Fri Jun 10 2022
4

Can really hear how this band must have influenced others of the time and that came after them. The rhythm guitar is immaculate. Great new wave sound.

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Thu Aug 25 2022
3

Haircut 100? The (barely) one-hit wonder from the early 80s? Essential album? All spoken/written from admitted ignorance and after listening I could take two paths: 1) Sure, this album is light fun from the early 80s but why is this mandatory or special listening? 2) This was an overlooked gem (at least in North America) and there should have been 3-4 radio or MTV staples. I could make a quick Duran Duran comparison but I like this far more. There's an airiness to the mix and arrangements that absolutely has that 80s feel but still sounds kinda fresh some 40! years later. Never imagined I'd discover a Haircut 100 album but I'm kinda glad I did; I hear some unpredictably jazzy/funky elements of Joe Jackson and Madness (compliments, those). I'll split the difference between the above thoughts and say while it might never be a favourite I think I'll happily listen to this again. A pleasant surprise. 6/10 3 stars.

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Fri Jan 13 2023
4

Funky, rhythm driven pop with lots of sax and horn and Chic / Nile Rodgers style guitar. Sometimes has a little Latin flair. Plus I like marimba. This didn’t come across as New Wave to me: there’s no edginess, no heavy synth. Just bright, fun pop. I liked this way more than I thought I would.

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Tue Aug 24 2021
2

I remember when this came out. I bought it in a bargain bin year's later (90's sometime). I've listened to it a few times and it's fine but in no way do I think this is critical listening for anyone LOL. This is coming from an 80's kid who still unironically plays a lot of 80's music. Not sure what the fuss is. I'm assuming they were a much bigger deal in the UK than in the states and so the creators of this list maybe had more nostalgia attached to this or the songs were more cultural touchstones there. For me-- meh Standout tracks: Baked Bean - Like Talking Heads with more horns

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Wed Oct 27 2021
2

This so isn't worthy. It's generic 80's new wave. It's fine and that's it. It shouldn't be on the list.

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Mon Jun 12 2023
2

Robert Dimery really out here forcing us to listen to every mid Britpop album he liked in his teens, huh

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Thu Apr 08 2021
4

"They were first known as Rugby, then as the Boat Party, then as Captain Pennyworth, and lastly as Moving England, before finally becoming Haircut One Hundred. " usually when you find out what a band was previously called their old name was shit. i would be happy with all of their old band names, rugby is a bit shit but Boat Party is phenomenal. music wise, enjoyable - a bit too many tracks but some excellent bass. ocassionally it strayed away from club tropicana and got a bit close to copacabana but never went full manilow. fuck it, i'm learning to 80s dance. gonna get some slacks, some boat shoes, a polo neck, put some old top of the pops on and study the moves.

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Fri Oct 01 2021
4

I'm glad didn’t write down my initial thoughts on Haircut One Hundred after reading that it was yet another British new wave band, or I would be digesting that piece of paper right now. The idiom eat my words dates back to at least the 1570s, but no one knows the origins of the phrase. I'm envisioning some 1300s pre-printing press monk writing something blasphemous and being ordered to chew that vellum up. Kind of like jerky? Except they didn't have any good flavor or spice in Europe in the 1300s... But I was wrong. Haircut One Hundred is not your average new wave band. In fact, I think new wave is a bit of a mischaracterization of their sound. The singer's voice does fit in that genre, but that is where it stops for most of the tracks. The tight collaboration of saxophones, trumpets, drums (even bongos!), and rhythm guitar set their sound apart, and create a fun dance vibe. The horns sometimes veer too far into poppy island/yacht rock territory, but when it’s funky and jazzy, it’s quite good. It's almost good enough to make up for vocals that very much fit into British new wave. But this was way more interesting to me than most new wave, largely thanks to the aforementioned jazz and funk influences.

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Tue May 11 2021
3

Incredibly interesting album. Really enjoyed the selection of instruments on a lot of the tracks. The whole thing had a very in-between feel, in a way. Not entirely new wave but a progenitor of a sort.

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Tue Aug 03 2021
3

Haircut 100? Huh. I genuinely cannot decide if that’s a good band name or not. Is it? Maybe. Then again, maybe not? I’m stumped. But I kinda enjoyed the tunes, overall. At times, it felt like an inferior version of Tears for Fears with more saxophone, but that’s also not something that sounds terrible in theory to me to begin with. “Love Plus One” is a song I’ll listen to more than twice. So, I’m happy I heard this if for no other reason than that.

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Mon Mar 21 2022
3

Funky little album this is. Some really great danceable rhythms. My wife really liked this album. I liked most of it but did get annoyed at times by the syrupy tone of the sax which fell I to Kenny G territory from time to time. A fun listen that probably doesn't have any real staying power. 3 🌟

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Thu May 05 2022
3

Stands up better than some of the other 80's albums that have come up so far on the list

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Thu Mar 28 2024
3

Another band with a lead singer who has this type of singing voice. I feel like I'm in a rut. I liked the funky guitar, percussion, and horns on this album - it was a nice peppy way to shake things up. But please give me a break from dudes who sing like Simon Le Bon/David Byrne/Billy Bragg. Not bad, and it's not their fault that they're showing up after a long line of similar bands.

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Sun Jun 25 2023
2

If you can't tell the band name from the album name something isn't right. And that kind of sums up this album.

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Thu Jul 06 2023
2

It's not terrible, but I don't understand the inclusion on this list. Even if you take the UK centric nature of some of the selections, why would this be included instead of something like Ultravox or Visage or Howard Jones? (all UK options) Icehouse or Split Enz or Thomas Dolby? These six are all much more worthy "new wave" inclusions than this album -- even if you were just looking at UK options in the same general timeframe, this is a poor choice. Looking at the charts, Asia would be a better option and bring something interesting to the list... Gap Band IV would have been amazing as an inclusion... Flock of Seagulls debut! Scorpions "Blackout"! Anyhow, poor choice. I owned this record in the 1980s and gave it away back then... it didn't stay in my collection for any real duration.

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Wed Aug 02 2023
2

Like a blend of the Smiths and the specials if they decided to be happy and do jazz. Was it weird and interesting, maybe? Does it deserve to be on this list? Meh. Feel harsh rating it a 2 but it's a very strong 2.

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Mon Aug 14 2023
2

If you like your funk pasty white, look no further. RIYL: Sperry’s, pastel polos, yachting with Chad and Buffy.

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Thu Jul 06 2023
1

I ALREADY RATED THIS YOU IDIOTS

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Wed Feb 10 2021
5

Dig the 80s vibes. Fun and dancey.

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Wed Feb 17 2021
5

Excellent! Also very different and mostly upbeat Jazz rock infusion

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Sun Apr 11 2021
5

New Wave funky y jazzy. Sin haberme gustado nunca mucho ese sonido esta gente consigue embelesarme. Instrumentación de locos, desarrollos larguísimos pero totalmente en su justa medida. Suenan modernos y el disco es del 81. Descubrimiento, me encanta.

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Fri Mar 05 2021
5

Another blast from the past. I loved this album I was 10 when it came out!

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Mon Oct 04 2021
5

Otra de las grandes sorpresas. Uno de los mejores discos de pop de los 80.

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Wed Nov 10 2021
5

This rules. I had never heard of them and I loved this

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Fri Apr 22 2022
5

This album is so cheesy and stupid in the best ways possible. So enjoyable. 5 stars not even sorry, tho I understand if you can’t get into it

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Fri Nov 04 2022
5

I had never heard of this band, so I was really struggling to justify why this album is on the list. My preconception was totally misguided; this album rocks. The band is so locked in. Their use of the funk palette works way better than it should for a bunch of young effeminate British white dudes from the 80s. The lyrics are fine, but the bass, percussion, and guitar more than make up for it. And a little clarinet in a pop album? bring it on!

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Thu Dec 08 2022
5

I would have sworn that I'd never heard of these guys, but "Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)" sounded awfully familiar, and I definitely knew "Love Plus One." So that was a surprise. The bigger surprise: I fucking LOVE this album. It's new wave perfection, full of funky basslines, sexy sax, and the sort of overtly British vocals that somehow feel necessary for new wave to be *just* right. (Maybe because Duran Duran is inextricably linked to new wave in my mind? I don't know.) Regardless, this album was a delightfully upbeat surprise, and I enjoyed it from start to finish.

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Thu Dec 08 2022
5

Ha I loved this! Upbeat, 80s, a bit poppy a bit disco, cool stuff! Really liked the whole thing Saved songs: Love Plus One, Kingsize (You're My Little Steam Whistle), Baked Beans, Calling Captain Autumn

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Sun Dec 25 2022
5

4.5 rounded up. For fans of xtc, style council, Duran Duran. All groove. Only stinker is Calling Capn Autumn.

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Mon Feb 13 2023
5

Cet album a été librement inspiré d'une histoire qui m'est arrivée. Je vous colle l'article sorti dans la presse à ce sujet : "Robfructisgarnière crée un malaise chez le coiffeur Robfructisgarnière, critique musical de renom, a causé un scandale chez le coiffeur aujourd'hui. Alors qu'il se faisait coiffer par Jessica, la jeune coiffeuse lui a demandé comment il voulait sa coupe. Au lieu de lui répondre, Robfructisgarnière a sorti une photo de pélican de sa poche et l'a montrée à la coiffeuse. La scène a rapidement tourné au drame lorsque Jessica, visiblement confuse, a maladroitement coupé les cheveux de son client. Robfructisgarnière a alors accusé la coiffeuse de délit de pélicanerie et a appelé la police. Lorsque la police est arrivée sur les lieux, Jessica a expliqué la situation et montré la photo de pélican à l'officier de police. Bien que l'image ne soit pas incriminante en soi, la confusion de Jessica et la réaction exagérée de Robfructisgarnière ont conduit la police à arrêter la coiffeuse pour délit de pélicanerie. Le délit de pélicanerie est une infraction rarement poursuivie par les tribunaux, mais dans ce cas, la police a jugé que l'accusation était justifiée. Jessica a été mise en examen et risque une amende substantielle ainsi qu'une peine de prison."

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Wed Mar 01 2023
5

I love the 80's too much, even these less known bands (at least here, in Brazil) always surprise me positively. I really liked the songs, I will look for other works.

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Mon Mar 13 2023
5

New Wave?! NEW wave? But what's this?! Trumpets?! Funky rhythm guitars?! Samba drums? Evidently I don't know what new wave is, but this is amazing. Standout Track: Calling Captain Autumn

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Thu Mar 30 2023
5

Sucker for 80’s electronic dance

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Thu Apr 20 2023
5

Great stuff. Learning about new music is why I'm here!

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Sat Apr 29 2023
5

Genuinely quite surprised at how good this is. It's got some great swing, the composition and performance is great. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Wed May 17 2023
5

Very solid. Interesting, a bit funky, the horns get a bit jazzy, the singer kind of vaguely reminds me of The Cure at times, and the tracks are catchy. I haven’t run into a song I didn’t enjoy the first listen to. I got to track 12 before I found one that I thought was just a fun jam that I might not want to hear again on a repeat listen. (And track 11 was a standout IMO.)

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Thu May 18 2023
5

Okay I love this. It feels like proto-vulfpeck. They had to draw from these guys. The amount of silky sax and moving guitar and upbeat lyrics and music. Hell yeah. I'm gonna explore more of these guys.

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Thu May 18 2023
5

Wow, this album had everything, from a saxophone, to sounding like a happy Morrissey. I thoroughly enjoyed this album and this band's willingness to do whatever they wanted. I believe they should've gone farther in the industry, but this was the 80's and sex n drugs could ruin any band. Damn you Nick Heyward!!! I can't wait to own this on vinyl one day!

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Wed Aug 02 2023
5

I've been waiting for this album to come up, because it has long been one of my favorite albums of the 1980s. Optimal when listened to with the car windows open on a fine spring day. It's so much fun. Don't let the teen magazine album cover fool you. These gents bring some solid musical chops to the table. This album is full of gorgeous, danceable songs with breezy pop hooks, latin jazz-inflected arrangements, and some the most effective uses of horns that you will ever hear in pop music. Like the best British pop, these songs are clever, charming and pleasant on the ears, but they're also surprisingly funky. I get how this ended up being a niche sound, but I would love to live a day in the alternate 1982 universe where this became the dominant sound in pop music, because it's delightful. The band totally went for a certain vibe with this album, and they nailed it. Fave Songs: (All songs, from most to least favorite... okay fine, "favourite"): Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl), Love Plus One, Baked Bean, Kingsize (You're My Little Steam Whistle), Fantastic Day, Calling Captain Autumn, Lemon Firebrigade, Surprise Me Again, Snow Girl, Milk Film, Marine Boy, Love's Got Me in Triangles

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Wed Oct 04 2023
5

The only Haircut 100 I can think of is Love Plus One, which I dearly love. So much so that I used to use a variation of this group’s name as a password. I really enjoyed the rest of this album as well. Take Duran Duran, add some heavy cream and sugar, and whip into a light, frothy Haircut 100 treat!

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Wed Oct 04 2023
5

Oh boy, I have to admit I love this one. I'd never heard this album beyond the favorite "Love Plus One" with its iconic guitar-marimba-saxophone-aye-aye-aye-aye-aye-yah intro, but I was not disappointed. I'm just a sucker for a great brass section in some happy jazzy new wave pop! I'm happy that I noticed that Kingsize doesn't have the lyric "you're my little fat one" as I'd originally thought, although that might be just a little funny.

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Fri Oct 20 2023
5

What a nice discovery! I think with this site I would have never found this record. Their music reminds me of orange juice und I like them very much.

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Fri Oct 27 2023
5

This album was beloved by my 13 year old heart. Played it continuously.

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Thu Nov 02 2023
5

Quality from start to finish.... Amazingly funky. Has surprisingly stood the test of time. One to add to the collection.

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Wed Nov 15 2023
5

10/10 a beautifully rich new wave album blending a wide variety of different genres

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Wed Nov 15 2023
5

Another unexpected album! I’ve never heard of this band before but wow did I really enjoy the tunes on this album. Very jazz-fusion-y and the bass is absolutely killer.

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Sun Dec 10 2023
5

Damn, this album kicked ass. The music here is so upbeat and catchy, I really liked this one.

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Thu Jan 04 2024
5

i really didn't know what to make of this album going in, it's not a band i've ever heard of and the album cover didn't really let on to what was going on. I had a really fun time with this one! front to back, really nice, catchy tunes. definitely very 80s in sound. cool stuff!

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Sat Jan 06 2024
5

Brightened my sleepless early morning right on up. Love these vibes.

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Sun Jan 28 2024
5

This was absolutely delightful. Will definitely be checking out more from them

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Fri Feb 02 2024
5

4.5 rounded up this lot are fucking groovy. Duran Duran with better song titles and a big fuck off saxophone

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Fri Mar 15 2024
5

Que buena sorpresa con esta banda!

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Fri Mar 22 2024
5

An old fav from its release. The band's debut and best... I listen to ti from time to time and can never just give it s solo play. I'm biased, but it has a nice beat from top to bottom. Came out in "New Wave" era but that is so unfair - much more, Listen to the great percussion.

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Sun Mar 28 2021
4

Excellent summer album. 7.5/10 FT: Favourite Shirts

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Tue Mar 23 2021
4

This album, like the last one, is very tough to rate. I enjoyed parts of it, but sometimes it didn't hold my interest that well. I could envision a situation in which I would come back to this album and really like it. There are a lot of cool elements to it. They clearly have some of the same influences as The Clash (or else were heavily influenced by The Clash themselves) 4/5 Second listen better than the first

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Wed Apr 21 2021
4

Probably more of a 3.5 than a 4

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Wed Jan 27 2021
4

With a name like "haircut 100", how can they be good? I feel a bit dirty liking this as much as I did. Favourite song: Fantastic Day

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Sun Feb 07 2021
4

Slick, funky grooves from a group I've never heard of before. Definitely saving this album for later...

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Sun Feb 07 2021
4

This has some damn good funk and groove to it. The kind of music you can just chill to and have a damn good time.

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Thu Apr 22 2021
4

Album cover: Tired. Disco riff that kicks the album off: Wired. They are kinda Talking Heads-ish with a sexy sax backing, ands more of a standard groove set-up.

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Mon Apr 12 2021
4

This has got that kind of 80s pop music feel to it. Like…I imagine smiling people bopping their heads to it when it came on in the car.

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Fri Feb 05 2021
4

look at those respectable young men tears for fearsy with brass interesting 4 starts for calling captain autumn alone!

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Mon Mar 15 2021
4

Breezy summery songs for the early 80s. I'm surprised at how many of these songs I recall, I must have played Fantastic Day a thousand times in my yute when hanging out with my Uni girlfriend. I really could use the half star rating system here, so my 3.5 becomes a 4 purely for nostalgic reasons.

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Wed Apr 21 2021
4

Geweldig! Dit vrolijke getoeter past precies bij het weer.

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Wed Apr 21 2021
4

Verrassend leuk bandje. Ik kende dit totaal niet, maar vond het wel lekker catchy en vrolijk

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Thu Mar 11 2021
4

I ended up liking this WAY more than I thought I would. Went in negative, was "meh" on the first couple of songs, but Lemon Firebrigade won me over and I enjoyed it from there on out. Why? I don't know. Probably because it reminded me of 80's movies - more fun, less serious. We can all use that from time to time.

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Tue Apr 20 2021
4

Really enjoyed. Reminds me of Duran Duran

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Sat May 22 2021
4

Fun. The Duran Duran of UB40s.

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Fri Apr 16 2021
4

Incredible guitar / horns work - really forward thinking and catchy. Definitely needs a re-listen

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Wed Apr 14 2021
4

I was surprised to really enjoy this album. It was what I'd imagine plays at Club Tropicana all day and night. Very easy to find yourself dancing along to it! Feel good 80s yuppie music.

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Fri Apr 30 2021
4

Completely new to me. I love it when a band is made up entirely of rhythm instruments. Really digging the bongos, horn, and rhythm guitar. 4.0

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Tue Jun 01 2021
4

Undeniably dated, totally 80’s, almost tacky, extremely top heavy. Still such a lovely listen, I danced so much 🥰.

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Wed Jun 09 2021
4

I enjoyed this alot more than expected, kinda felt like what the 90s would put over the Charlie's angels TV show

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Tue Jun 29 2021
4

Just the right amount of funk, pretty cool!

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Sun Jun 13 2021
4

This album was quite interesting. The band merged Ska, Jazz, Latin, Funk, Pop, and dare I say a bit of Punk to pretty much every song. One of those albums and groups that didn't fit with the genre they were unfortunately placed. Good album.

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Tue Aug 03 2021
4

What a strange beast this is - lots of chicken scratch white boy New Wave funk like 'Favourite Shirts' and 'Calling Captain Autumn', the latter of which almost tips over into Oingo Boingo territory. Liberal use of congas and daytime TV saxophone, which I don't mind - and smack bang in the middle is 'Fantastic Day', one of the most wonderfully uplifting examples of indie pop to emerge from the era. I do like it, quite a lot in fact, but a mildly puzzling experience.

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Thu Sep 23 2021
4

I think participating in this project is developing a taste in me for new wave, as that was a lot of fun! Upbeat, light, poppy and funky - they sound like an earnest, humorless They Might Be Giants. Fave track - "Favourite Shirts", maybe. I like "Kingsize (You're My Little Steam Whistle)" too, but damn that's a bad track name!

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