Saturday, June 9, 2012
MUSIC REVIEW: MEN WITHOUT HATS - LOVE IN THE AGE OF WAR
It's the first Men album in a decade, and comes after a successful 2011 tour that saw the band properly acknowledged as an exciting live act. Falling somewhere between dance and New Wave, it's true there's a lot of retro love and re-evaluation for the mid-80's these days, but for full albums, this might be the best Doroschuk's ever made. Each cut is a concise and solid piece of pop. It's extremely danceable of course, but smart as all get out, too. This War, moving at top gear with some unimaginable BPM rate, would fill any dance floor, impossible to resist. Mid-tempo charmer Your Beautiful Heart is soul-gone-synth, with a great lyric, Ivan giving support to someone searching for love. The Girl With The Silicon Eyes has that touch of sci-fi that always goes well with electronics.
Men Without Hats has always been about finding joy and love in the face of those who want to deny it. That goes right back to Safety Dance, inspired by club bouncers threatening his crowd when they tried to enjoy New Wave music ("Is it safe to dance?"). That's what set Doroschuk above the pack back in the day, the intelligence he brought to the table. It's all still there, plus he's a master craftsman in the now more appreciate synth arts.