The Human League flags for a comeback in a strong way with their forthcoming single "All I Ever Wanted", and album "Secrets" to be released across Europe in July. Here is a preview of a three-track sampler CD, since there are many people out there who wants to know what Human League 2001 sounds like.
The first thing that strikes me when listening to the first track "All I Ever Wanted", is what an unmistakeably classic Human League sound and feel it has to it. Philip Oakey's clear, yet strikingly deep and raspy, massing baritone vocals layered on a superbly produced mix of retro sounding synthesizer sounds, a pounding disco bass line, punchy analogue rhythm. All with lovely vocal dolls Joanne Catherall's and Susan Sulley's sweet harmonic voices punching in and out through the bridges and the insanely sticky chorus. All these treats combined with some truly impressive vocoded vocals here and there throughout the song makes for a perfect pop song. This song signals a definite commercial comeback which ought to see the band riding high in both sales and airplay charts after nearly six years of absence. Look forward to a summer with this song stuck like glue to your mind. It seems love and dancing never goes out of fashion…
There are two more tracks taken off the album here: "Never Give Your Heart" and "Love Me Madly". The first is a slower love song in the style of the band's own "One Man in My Heart", which rode high in the UK charts in late 1995. It features one of the girls on main vocals, with the trio joining vocal forces throughout the chorus. Once again, a track that shows off some truly impressive production, a nice bass line and interesting chord progressions. Albeit with the limited solo vocal strengths of the girls, this will most likely not be considered as a single contender.
The third and last track featured on the sampler, "Love Me Madly" is a slightly more upbeat and, at times, almost frantic track. Oakey's lyrics are here more fascinating than ever before. For those out there reflecting over his occasionally odd rhymes from the past… well, you are in for a treat! Or what do you think of lines such as "I'm tethered to a trainee hellcat / And feeling jealous of the doormat". Or "You're like the woman out of Species / I think I'm gonna go to pieces"? Nevertheless, this song full of insane and unbelievably witty lyrics could well prove to be a possible single.
Witty and clever lyrics, perfected retro, yet very modern sounding production full of quirky and noteworthy details, all with that trademarked and undeniable Human League sound - this proves to be yet another truly remarkable comeback of the seemingly forever young synthpopsters from Sheffield. The Human League returns in style.