Bananarama's second album is a pop gem, and in my view one of the hidden classics of the 80's.
Sure, they sing in unison too often, like they did on their debut Deep Sea Skiving
. However, there are also creative vocal arrangements from producers Tony Swain and Steve Jolley, and these help the songs, some of which are completely winning.
I've never been particularly fond of "Cruel Summer", but there are a number of other shining lights here, most notably the socially conscious "Rough Justice", and "Dream Baby" (a cover of a song by not terribly successful band Six Sed Red, and I love the way it emerges from the finishing strains of the preceding "King of the Jungle").
Then there's the divine "Hot Line to Heaven", and - one of Bananarama's most famous songs - "Robert De Niro's Waiting", even if that one does belie its bright sound by actually, according to the group themselves, focusing on date rape (I also read somewhere that the actor himself liked the song as well).
The cheery "State I'm In" is also engaging, although I object to there being a key change that goes down
late in the song. Come on ... when you have a bright pop number, it's supposed to get more rousing by going up
The album finishes with the quieter but quite lovely "Through a Child's Eyes", which - unlike some finishing slow songs on an up tempo album (of any genre) - actually works where it is placed.
Bananarama might not always be taken seriously, but this release really is worthy of any pop fan's collection - it remains a true delight. Rated:
by Reviewer: The Doctor