CD Traffic * [ABC] (CD 1270473),
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Traffic * [ABC]

  • 1. Sixteen Seconds to Choose
    2. Very First Time, The
    3. Ride
    4. Love Is Strong
    5. Caroline
    6. Life Shapes You
    7. One Way Traffic
    8. Way Back When
    9. Validation
    10. Lose Yourself
    11. Fugitives
    12. Minus Love
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 2

  • Credits
    ProducerChuck Kentis; Martin Fry

    Audio Mixer: Gary Langan.
    Surprise, surprise, but that ABC magic is back again! In the first half of the '80s, Martin Fry enjoyed world-wide success with his band ABC on the back of two albums that were not just fascinating in themselves, but seemed to promise quite more to come. As part of the british New Romantic scene, their debut album, Lexicon of Love, perfectly fit in with the tastes of the time, what with the desire for an artificial blend of (white) soul music mixed with certain '50s conservative sensibilities, all served up with a lot of hollow posing, thank you. ABC were an instant success in that climate, but definitely had more to offer than the surface sheen of most of their contemporaries. Their music had richer layers of meaning, which, over time, started to make them seem like a long-lost treasure. The much more obviously "deep" second album, Beauty Stab, which included the feat of uniquely melding Black Sabbath-type riffs to sultry progressive soul (both typical of the early '70s) already "threw" many of their newfound fans. They weren't counting on such a change of style, or on that much intelligence coming from this band. Third album How to Be a...Zillionaire! (with its uneven attempt at reverting to the charms of the debut album) sadly caused even more people to lose interest, and what followed were decades of ABC albums with music actually conforming to the dictate of hollow dancefloor tastes, with spaces in between albums growing ever longer, all to no avail. Since no one expected it, hardly anyone noticed that in 2008, Martin Fry pretty much delivered the album that ABC fans were probably hoping for in 1985. His lyrical mastery was back in place, an elegant mix of soul and style fully revived in the songwriting and production departments, and there were even some of those fascinating rock amalgams from the second album back on board. Opener "Sixteen Seconds to Choose" is one such song, followed by the soulful elegance of "The Very First Time" and then "Ride," which strikes a perfect rock-soul balance. Thus the tone is set for the rest of the album, the first really satisfying ABC album since the mid-'80s by far. Absolutely astonishing how Fry has managed to shrug of all the years of uninspired "making do" recordings and tap right back into that well of inspiration. He acquired lasting admiration worldwide for this kind of quality all those years ago; now the world would do good to start paying attention again. ~ Alan Severa

  • Critic Reviews
    Mojo (Publisher) (p.112) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he highlight is the gorgeous 'Love Is Strong,' a quintessence of the ABC sound of 1982, and yet still implausibly good today."
    Record Collector (magazine) (p.82) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he album is snappy, erudite and retains all the widescreen ambitions of ABC at their zenith."
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