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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
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Comments

bwuh Sept. 29, 2010 @ 8:49 p.m.

Congratulations - this is the worst writing put forth toward an album review I have ever read in my life...ever.

Anyway, this album is fantastic - Alison's bluesy voice paired with Vince's synth wizardry was a concept way ahead of its time. The fact they opted to reconvene after 25 years was a stroke of genius by both parties, and Moyet's voice has only gotten better while Clarke's re-programming kept many of the original sounds intact. The crowd's enthusiasm throughout the album is uncanny and surprises even Alison at times. This is a must-have record for fans of the synth pop sound.

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JasonColin Sept. 30, 2010 @ 11:58 p.m.

Worse writing I have ever endured. Pointless, poorly written, and just plain dumb. Is the San Diego Reader supposed to be a legitimate news source? If so, they should give this guy the boot.

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Russ Lewis Oct. 1, 2010 @ 12:15 a.m.

You know what they say: Everyone's a critic, even those with no acquaintance with rock criticism as it was practiced in the early to mid-1970s, which this seems to have been intended to fall in line with. It does.

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Jay Allen Sanford Oct. 1, 2010 @ 5:46 p.m.

Anybody is welcome to submit a CD review to the Reader - you can't get "booted," but I imagine far worse reviews get rejected from appearing in this column --

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