MAGAZINE – The Correct Use Of Soap (1980)

Review by: Charly Saenz
Album assigned by: Jonathan Moss

A great surprise! Indeed I confirm here that early 80s, late 70s (78-82 approximately) is a territory worth investigating.

Magazine’s only album I listened to so far has really managed to capture me. It’s infectious pop and then something, which is exactly what you may expect for this adorable era – a gray area of Power pop/Post-punk/New wave. I felt that this music has aged well, it’s dynamic and concise and there are little details here and there that I enjoyed. 

“Because you’re frightened” starts out the album with a more edgy side (and a fantastic guitar riff) but then “Model worker” is such a perfect blueprint for some of the best pop I’ve listened (later!) in the 80s – that I can’t begin to describe it. Great single material.

“I Want To Burn Again”, a slow acoustic beginning, and then these eighties keyboards used wisely (that great bass is always on top), and the background vocals add colour instead of being predictable; before the end an out-of-nowhere guitar solo to complete another perfect pop bubble.
“A Song From Under The Floorboards” is probably my favourite of the lot, the keyboards and the bass lines really work their best here but the whole group really creates a little pop gem.

“You never knew me” is another great find, with its slow pace and a great vocal delivery from Devoto (and of course some quite direct lyrics) 
“I’m a Party” works too as its title indicates with an upbeat poppy mood (though still somehow punky), and those female background vocals which are a little odd.. Until the 3:00 mark where there’s a nice break until we get back to the original song. Fantastic.

“Sweetheart contract” pushes forward with its slightly psychedelic main keyboard riff (and a dangling guitar playing in the back). Great fun. Didn’t care much for “Stuck” (more funky) or “Thank You” (a cover) though on more listens who knows. 

A great great album for those like me who like pop/synth pop, but with a punk/rockier edge.


Author: tomymostalas


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