Album #496 – The Lexicon of Love

Album #496

ABC are important group in the development of pop music in the 80’s. Their first album, The Lexicon of Love, embodies the traits of a genre that would become huge in the UK in the mid 80’s: Sophisticated Pop or Sophisti-pop. That style of music features lush sounds combining  jazz, strings and synths to create something new. Think of it as standards for Generation X. The album featuring the string arrangements of Anne Dudley, a future member of the Art of Noise and the go-to for lush string parts during the 80’s. One of the producers is also a collaborator of Dudley’s: Trevor Horn. That name might sound familiar. Horn was the lead singer and bassist for The Buggles. Yes, the band who brought you Video Killed The Radio Star and that also featured composer Hanz Zimmer on synths. Horn is still an in demand producer not only producing ABC but Yes’ 1983 comeback album, 90125 , The Art of Noise, Seal, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Pet Shop Boys, Simple Minds, Rod Stewart, Paul McCartney and many more. In fact, the production team of this album would form The Art of Noise after the release of The Lexicon of Love. Lead singer Martin Fry has one of the best voices in New Wave: lush and emotional. He certainly was an influence on many of his contemporaries. The album has songs filled with heartache and lost love. Fry captures the sadness so well but, the music is anything but melancholy. Instead, the new wave sounds mixed with sax and strings make ABC stand out from their contemporaries. In fact, they really wrote the playbook on New Romantic. The Lexicon of Love is one of the strong albums from this era of New Wave. Eventually, it would evolve into Sophisti-pop. Other contemporaries include: Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and Culture Club. Highlights include: Show Me, Poison Arrow, Tears Are Not Enough, Valentines Day, The Look of Love (Part One), All of My Heart and 4 Ever 2 Gether. Overall, I give The Lexicon of Love, 4.5 out of 5.

Next: 1999 by Prince

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