After the pleasant Duran Duran surprise, over the next few months these albums dropped from other 80's alumni. None of them are recreating any hit sounds of the past, and they're not breaking much new ground here, either. They are not regaining a once-held popularity, or you all would have heard of them by now. However, they all deserve some accolade for persevering through the years and still creating some great, memorable music.
Without further ado, The Sticktoitiveness Awards go to:
If you don't know who these guys are, then never mind. You can go back to your Drake and Rhianna.
Erasure has been releasing music consistently for nearly 30 years. This is their eleventh or twelfth album, depending on how you count. None has deviated much from their hit formula perfected on 1988's The Innocents: dance pop hooks, synthy keyboards, and melody, melody, melody.
I'd say she's kind of the the original indie queen, having made quirky-cool music since the seventies. She's basically only released two records in the last twenty years, but this was worth a long wait. Mostly piano ballads about snow and cold and winter, it even contains a lovely duet with Elton John. Pretty, quiet tunes for a deep December day.
Once the front man for another classic goth band, Bauhaus, the quality of his solo work has suffered at times. This album is less goth and more blues, full of heavy rock riffs, like old Iggy Pop.
I just recently bought this album, so I have yet to digest it, but from the first listen, it's better than their last two albums that are sort of considered the second incarnation of SP. This is quieter, more melodic and atmospheric, a little less screechy industrial. Still, Skinny Puppy will never be considered mellow.
Thanks for joining me on my musical tour through 2011. It's been fun for me. Maybe next year I can get a few others to join up.