Sunday, March 6, 2011

Flock of Seagulls

A Flock of Seagulls - 1982

No, really, it's good. The guy's hair isn't even totally atrocious yet.

So much of this record is awesome! Maybe my excitement here could be partially attributed to low expectations, but the actual quality and pep of this record cannot be denied. A good number of the songs on the album are jingly-jangly pop gems with some fine tuned laser light-sheen, primed for late night electro boogaloo dance parties (or early morning pancake flipping). It's hard to really follow what lead man Mike Score is singing about, but generally it can be summed up in the titles: I Ran, Space Age Love Song, You Can Run, Don't Ask Me, Messages, Telecommunication, Modern Love is Automatic, Standing in the Doorway, D.N.A., and Man Made ... ahh yes, a sci-fi workout album! I guess the real trick is that it's not just 80's pop. There are strong bass lines, wailing guitar hooks, a convulsive drumline, and traces of a hip hop stutter rhythm in sections. Many of the choruses demand full sing-along participation as well.

The two obvious singles/hits live on side A while side B is one propulsive and interesting song after the next. The second track "Modern Love is Automatic" is like listening to music on another planet, and the fourth "D.N.A." is just pure fun. Both feature tempo shifts that are at times ushered in via an explosion or a bleep bloop. This album is categorized for its 80's synths as new wave - as they called it then - which is just a crappy short hand for saying high energy pop rock with synths. Either way, there is no mistaking the sound for anything other than groundbreaking. This album kick-started the 80's MTV sound.

This find was snapped up at the True Vine in Hampden/Baltimore along with a good chunk of other affordable vinyl (none as good as this one). Since we were able to snag this album for a dollar in preparation for a very important 80s birthday party we got to check the entire thing out. Imagine if we weren't using vinyl? We would likely have just Limewire'd "I Ran" or scoffed at the idea of buying the CD. Hooray for records! This record in no way was expected to be good by either of us, but thank goodness for vinyl!

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