Saturday, February 12, 2011

a league of their own

The Human League, fresh from the release of "Night People", their first single in over a decade, return with the follow up, "Never Let Me Go". Both tracks have been plucked from "Credo", their forthcoming longplayer.

The icy drama of "Never Let Me Go" features a heavily yet tastefully auto-tuned Susanne Sulley over a track that tips its hat to Kraftwerk and almost comes across as a late 80s freestyle track. Nods to the Minneapolis sound, which THL explored on "Crash", their Jam & Lewis produced opus from 1986, are woven into the mix.

The track also is slightly reminiscent of Client with a just a hint of funk added to it. Let's listen. Shall we?

Phil Oakey's booming voice is less present yet still effective in the overall landscape of the song. "Never Let Me Go" will be available from all fine digital "shops" on March 21. The album, "Credo", will follow a week later.

"Credo" is The Human League's first new body of work since "Secrets" was released in 2001. Produced by I Monster, the nucleus of Philip Oakey, Susanne Sulley and Joanne Catherall are ably supported by long standing sidemen Neil Sutton, Rob Barton and David Beevers.

The following is the full, official, eleven song strong tracklisting for "Credo".

1. Never Let Me Go
2. Night People
3. Sky
4. Into The Night
5. Egomaniac
6. Single Minded
7. Electric Shock
8. Get Together
9. Privilege
10. Breaking The Chains
11. When The Stars Start To Shine


  1. I'm glad that the HL are back with a decent track, but the only thing I can comment on is the single cover. Was that the best they could do?

  2. hmmmm... I want to love this new album as I bloody love them but it's still not giving me that special feeling. Damn.

  3. 'Egomaniac' is a real gem but shhhh...I'm not supposed to talk about it just yet ;)

  4. @John - I think they are going for a minimalist thing. Also, playing on the "red" and "blue" indicators that used for their "dance" and "pop" singles in the early 80s.

    Still, with some of the fabulous photos I've seen of them lately, why not go full electro glamor?

  5. @DanProject76 - I love "Night People"! Play it loud.

  6. Hell yeah, I'm hearing "Heartland" era Client loud and clear, albeit with an unfortunate Autotune® chaser. The Jam & Lewis sound seasoning is doing them no favors since I would rather that that project had not happened. Tragically, the song does not hold together at all, it sounds like a Frankenstein's monster stitched together in Pro Tools, so I echo DanProject76's sentiments. "Night People" was a winner but this as a single is a non-event for me. And John is right - the design style they are doggedly pursuing on this album is a go-nowhere, do nothing conceit. After the success of "Night People" I'm guardedly optimistic as opposed to ebullient. In commercial terms, this means "buying a used copy that I got to sample in the bins first."

  7. Tom in Portsmouth, NHFebruary 13, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    @DanProject76—I'm echoing your sentiment. From the 2 singles I've heard so far, I want to like them much more than I do like them. Maybe "Egomaniac" will be the one.

    @Vinny Vero—Thanks for the history lesson about the "red" & "blue" indicators from their early records. I always wondered why all my 12-inchers were subtitled "Red".

  8. No more teasing but....
    there are some absolute forward thinking gems on 'Credo' - there is just the one track that I skip (and it isn't 'Never Let Me Go' which is a positive grower though not representative of the album).
    Credo is much more inventive than say the recent OMD album which also had some fine tracks.
    'Credo' also has a few good twists which I honestly wasn't expecting - lots of sing-a-long-Oakey moments with that trademark vocal interaction with Susan & Jo.
    I might have argued for Stuart Price or a slightly more bombastic approach but the 'I Monster' knob twiddling sounds terrific on headphones.

    Said too much now and most zip my lips ;)

    Love this blog by the way :)

  9. @rob - That seems to be the consensus on "Credo" for those that have heard it. Apparently, when listened to in its entirety, it sounds close to being a masterpiece. Must hear it now!

    Thanks for the kind words. Glad you like the blog. Music is my passion!

  10. FROWN FROWN FROWN. Just not liking this new work. Hopefully, the album will have something perfect.

  11. Sorry haters, LOVE LOVE LOVE this song. One of the best things Suzanne has EVER sung. Certainly better than "One Man in My Heart", correct? It's like a funky La Roux without all the shrieking! I love when the track goes all stratospheric at 3:20, and the backing vox are so soulful! While this doesn't have the driving electro sheen of, say, "Love Me Madly", it certainly seems more radio friendly than "Night People" (I like that as well).

    As much as I love the new OMD, Credo is shaping up to be a slightly spikier affair. Bring on March 28!

  12. @countpopula - Ooooh! I loved "One Man In My Heart"! Nice little single. And yes, the new one is a little like La Roux but much better.

    I think THL are going for something a little deeper and less pop on "Credo". Their heart is more focused on the dancefloor. Still, the hooks have embedded themselves into my brain.

  13. Tom in Portsmouth, NHFebruary 27, 2011 at 11:25 AM

    UPDATE on the "Never Let Me Go" single. I'll admit I wasn't too crazy about the album version (and a couple of the remixes), but if you get a chance to hear the "Aeroplane Remix", by all means check it out. Of all the versions I've heard, it is by far the best. My favorite new song of the week! I'm driving the cats crazy playing it extra loud. :-)