Vince Clarke, modern-day Bach? For those of you not tuned when Yaz (Yazoo in the U.K.) did this the first time around, I figured I'd get your attention. Realistically, Vince Clarke (the half that doesn't sing) isn't everything Bach was. Bach was damned near perfect. Almost enough to get you to believe in God. But at the top of his pop-tune game, Clarke composes melodies, counterpoints, and bass lines which simultaneously radiate and mutually reinforce. Alison Moyet (the half that sings) then ruins perfection with roughness, reminding us that they're (we're) human after all. So, for celestial clockwork, we still need Bach. But for synth and soul, with the pop I mean, we have these two.
Should you have Yaz memories, of course, I'm right with you. New Year's Eve, 1985 (I think): a young lady sings harmony to "Only You," sounding like she belongs on and to the record. I do not yet know that she'll betray me, tell lies at every turn, and drive me to self-mutilation. Spring 1988: my gorgeous redheaded girlfriend sings the instrumental pings of the lovelorn "Midnight." I do not yet know that she'll dump me for my best friend, stuff her "Dear John" letter into an unstamped envelope, and hand it to my best friend to hand-deliver. In and around those two: my other best friend and I slap palms to "Only You" and turn out the stark, horrifying stanzas of "In My Room" to a swing beat. I do not yet know that he'll swell to 400 pounds, add cocaine to alcoholism, and look away from the Reaper's gaze across a small room.
I know all these things now and I've still listened to this more than almost anything else this year. I can't think of a better way to rest my case.
- Album: Reconnected Live (2010)
- Artist: Yaz
- Label: Mute
- Songs: (1) Nobody's Diary (2) Bad Connection (3) Mr. Blue (4) Good Times (5) Tuesday (6) Ode to Boy (7) Goodbye '70s (8) Too Pieces (09) In My Room (10) Anyone (11) Walk Away from Love (12) State Farm (13) Sweet Thing (14) Winter Kills (15) Midnight (16) Unmarked (17) Bring Your Love Down (Didn't I) (18) Don't Go (19) Only You (20) Situation