The Human League

1990: A&M 75021 5316 2

  1. Kiss the Future
  2. A Doorway (?)
  3. Heart Like a Wheel
  4. Men Are Dreamers
  5. Mister Moon and Mister Sun
  6. Soundtrack to a Generation
  7. Rebound
  8. The Stars Are Going Out
  9. Let’s Get Together Again
  10. Get It Right This Time

It’s a neglected effort that deserves more consideration than it’s received in all the years since its untimely arrival. “Rebound” is singularly fine, whether as a Human League offering or on its own merits, and its followup “The Stars Are Going Out” remains unappreciated yet worthy of note with its dark celebrity-“end-times” bleakness.

Countering all that shadow are the obvious tosser would-be hits (“Heart Like a Wheel,” for example, on which much money was evidently lavished for an ultimately uncompelling video, and perhaps “Men Are Dreamers,” which seems to me like a rehash of songwriting bits that had never worked anywhere else either), but also tracks such as “Mister Moon and Mister Sun” and “Get It Right This Time.” The latter are like some offspring of quirkly-skewed computer-generated pop tracks—not generic synth-pop, not formulaic, not quite right either, they sound like interesting experiments that never quite found their intended forms; in that sense, I still kinda like them when I’m in the right mood.

Nearly all the other tracks on this album are pretty lame dross.

And then there’s “Soundtrack to a Generation,” which defies summary description; it’s just an odd beast, neither good nor bad yet containing aspects that could certainly be described either of those ways. And “Let’s Get Together Again” is nearly as bad as “Louise” (on their 1984 album Hysteria).

Personally I enjoy of this album, on the (flawed) whole, possibly by not treating it as a Human League album per se but as a standalone with a couple of standout tracks.