The Human League: Credo
The Human League formed in the late-70s but did not really gain momentum until the 80s. In the 80s, the group released several charting singles including “(Keep Feeling) Fascination,” “Human,” and “Mirror Man.” Unfortunately most people remember the group for one song only: “Don’t You Want Me.” The track was an international hit, reaching number one in six countries. The male/female duet about sexual power politics was kitschy, catchy, and a novelty. The band experienced fleeting success but essentially disappeared from the charts as the 90s approached. Despite a lack of chart-success, the group stayed together, releasing albums throughout the 90s and the 00s. Credo is their first album since 2001’s Secrets.
Jumping into Credo, I tried not to have too many expectations. It is easy to think of a band as they were 30 years ago and not take into consideration evolution, change in interests, etc. But in the 30 years since “Don’t You Want Me,” it appears as The Human League has done very little evolving. You can look at this in two ways. First, it means that Credo sounds dated. Secondly, many bands are trying to sound like they are from the 80s right now, so dated for the Human League is not the worst thing to sound.
The songs on Credo follow the same formula as “Don’t You Want Me”: male and female vocals are exchanged over synthesizers and electronic drum beats. As a matter of fact, “Single Minded” almost rips off “Don’t You Want Me”‘s iconic synth-bass line. It is odd to hear a band bite off themselves but it in the case of “Single Minded” it works.
Although “Single Minded” is not one of the singles from the album. Of the album’s three singles, “Sky” is probably the strongest. The track has all the hallmarks of an 80s dance classic including Philip Oakey’s using both his tenor and baritone range and the excellent female backing vocals.
While listening to “Sky,” I had a weird feeling that I was somehow indulging in nostalgia while listening to something completely new. In a modern world where people seem to be reaching for the comfort of nostalgia more and more, Credo plays right into that. It seems to be giving people a look into a dance club they never happened upon while barhopping back in the 80s.
MP3: The Human League “Sky”
Buy: iTunes or Insound!
The Human League: Credo