|Heaven And The Sea|
|Produced by Stephen Hague|
|Released on June 1986|
|no chart information|
|Find it at GEMM|
|830 004-4 M-1 cover|
T he story of the boy who went to sleep angry and woke up a machine. The seeds of dance dissent lay slumbering under the hard lacquered floor. The dancers had already let the lion (Pete Shelley) through the gate on the strength of “Homosapiens,” thinking they could make a pet of him. They were wrong. Heaven And The Sea is a darker, crowded vision of synthesizer pop; not punk but not pretty either. Call it a slow march back to The Buzzcocks, as songs like “Never Again” and “My Dreams” suggest that band in a thoughtful mood. However, it’s too synthetic and slow for punk, too talkative for club music, instead inhabiting some halfworld of atmospheric synthesizer pop and angst (right next door to Love And Rockets). I always had the feeling this music should have led to more, like a lush folk-punk movement or something, rather than a dead end. You can sense some of Shelley’s frustration on the Chuang Tzu quote on the inner sleeve (translation: we music listeners love our leprous lot). But what kind of cure was Shelley selling on Heaven And The Sea? A palliative of punk and disco, which was plainly unpalatable to both camps. XL-1 was equally robotic, but the melodies were better. Heaven has some of the dramatic sameness that plagued the latter-day Ultravox albums: interesting but not instantly hummable. And so Shelley seems to have ended up on the alluvial edges with the other alternative heroes that arrived in the first wave (Adam Ant, Gary Numan, The Stranglers). Heaven And The Sea is still a good album; perhaps his most principled record to date. But it doesn’t have a good gimmick (“Homosapien”) or irresistible charm (“You Know Better Than I Know,” “I Just Wanna Touch”). Fans will find this a quality release worth picking up, and by fans I mean stalwarts and not the people who get Pete Shelley and Peter Schilling confused.
PETE SHELLEY --
Health & Efficiency -- design
Chris Garnham -- photography
|REGION||RELEASE DATE||LABEL||MEDIA||ID NUMBER||FEATURES|
|UK||June 1986||Mercury||LP/CD/CS||MERH 90|
|WW||June 1986||Mercury||LP/CD/CS||830 004|
|GER||1992||Line||LP/CDX||941817||CD feat. bonus tracks|
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