Tuesday, April 22, 2014

445 of 1001 Albums: The Style Council's Cafe Bleu

I do really love 80's music, and for some reason I was expecting The Style Council to sound a lot different than they turned out sounding. Instead of just new wave or rock, you get a bit of jazz fused in as well. It sounds good, and catchy, but it's not some of my favorite from the 80's so far, but there is something still unique about the sounds.

History: This album was at first a huge hit in the U.K. It would reach number two on the charts there before finding itself a hit in other countries. Oddly, after it became a hit in the U.S. they even changed the name of the album so it was more appealing to Americans. The album though would prove a success for the band that was trying out new sounds that included more jazz and soul than the straight up pop they dealt with.

Vocals: Paul Weller has the British, 80's vocals, that seem like they were quite popular then. Honestly, they might be the best bit of the album. Weller's voicing matches the way they have toned the album with jazz styles as well. The thing is I also had trouble getting into this album, and I felt the vocals didn't help maintain my emotional interest in the album as it was very well played to match a whole vibe instead of running with some deeper themes of the album.

Instrumentals: You can't have an 80's album without a keyboard. The keyboard adds a lot to any interest I did garner. You also have the guitar and bass as well as drums though. What does stand out as impressive is also the added saxophone in the tune and the inclusion of the jazz themed instrumentals. There is also instruments that are enjoyable to listen to like a trumpet.

Recording: If you're a fan of music that sounds like 80's, but doesn't sound too heavily dated to the 80's then you'll probably enjoy how this album sounds. It's not one that got crazy with the sounds of then and decided to include any electronic song into the album. This also makes the album have a more timeless sound that is sure to stick around a bit longer than other 80's sounds.

I hadn't heard of The Style Council before this album. I thought it was a good listen, but it might take another listen, before I could decide how it really sat with me after listening to the tune. It has some fun of the 80's on it, but there is also a whole lot more of a serious sound that I didn't expect, but perhaps should have with an album title name like "Cafe Bleu".

Rating 6 of 10.

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