Album Details

Pop/Rock, Experimental Electronic, Punk/New Wave, New Wave

Album Review

Blancmange's first album, 1982's Happy Families, yielded the minor radio hit "Living on the Ceiling," which also received a good deal of attention from early MTV. Though Happy Families can accurately be described as techno-pop, it's techno-pop with a modicum of taste and sophistication, putting it more in the ballpark of genre pioneers like OMD and Yazoo than of annoying '80s anachronisms like Kajagoogoo or EBN-OZN. Neil Arthur's lyrics are interesting enough to reward close listening, and his Bowie-esque voice, while somewhat limited, serves the material well. The sound of Happy Families is built largely around synthesizers, played by Arthur and partner Stephen Luscombe. The duo have a knack for catchy basslines and drum programming, on top of which they strategically deploy guitars, Eastern instrumentation, and female backing vocals. Particular highlights include "I Can't Explain" (not the Who song), "Feel Me," "Sad Day," and "God's Kitchen."
Bill Cassel, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. I Can't Explain
  2. Feel Me
  3. I've Seen the Word
  4. Wasted
  5. Living on the Ceiling
  6. Waves
  7. Kind
  8. Sad Days
  9. Cruel
  10. God's Kitchen