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  • Credo
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on April 3, 2011
While it is hard to believe it has been 10 years since The Human League released Secrets and 30 years since Dare! In the interim, the band continued to tour and write music. Credo is a great return to form, mixing some retro synth sounds with modern bass/dance beats, Philip Oakey's baritone voice, and the Susan Ann and Joanne's singing. The result is a great return to form. From the first "ohhh" of the first song and second single release, "Never Let Me Go", the sound is distinctly the Human League and rarely missed form throughout the record.

"Never Let Me Go" is one of the stronger songs on the album and starts the disc off with classic Human League sound. Like "One Man In My Heart" from Octopus, Susan Ann Sulley takes the lead vocals. The song has a toe tapping beat a chorus that you will be singing for days.

"Night People" was the lead single and begs to be danced to! The lyrics contain some of the typical Human League rhymes, "Leave your cornflakes in your freezers, Leave your chocolate and your cheeses, Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, Give your soul what ere it pleases", that make you scratch your head if you listen too closely. But this is not meant to be lyrical dynamo, it is to get your feet moving.

"Egomaniac" is the second single in most of Europe. It is a repetitive dance number that blends traditional Human League sounds with a more dance-able beat and sound.

"Electric Shock" was a great surprise. Right from the first listen, it grabs a hold of you and makes you want to get on the dance floor. The lyrics are simplistic, but catchy. Definitely one of the highlights of the album.

"When the Stars Start to Shine" closes the disc with a song that surprises on multiple fronts. The song is unlike anything The Human League have recording in years. The mix of beat and lyrics harbor back to some pre-Dare recordings. The song is catchy both lyrically and musically.

While CREDO is not DARE! It is one of their best discs of the past 20 years. While it will not get airplay, aside from some club play, it is definite worth a listen. It is far better than many of the retro acts making music today and still captures some the magic of the 80's while embracing the sounds and beats of the 2010's.
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on April 6, 2011
Given the real possibility of never again hearing anything new from the Human League, it's a real cause for celebration to have some new music from this truly great band.

I have to admit, "Credo" has grown on me--from not liking it very much on a first listen, to now enjoying it a lot. It's received wildly mixed reviews in England, from high praise to being panned. For me, I don't think "Credo" is going to stand in the upper echelons of The Human League's work, but it's a solid effort that is enjoyable and worth having if you are a fan. However, I'd be surprised if "Credo" will make new fans of The Human League.

Overall, "Credo" seems a lot more riff-oriented, rather than containing fully fleshed-out songs. There's nothing on this CD that reaches the heights of their best work, such as "Soundtrack To A Generation" from Romantic or "Reflections" or "You'll Be Sorry" from Secrets, or "The Lebanon" from Hysteria, etc. Still, there are a lot of very solid songs that eventually get under your skin, even if they would not be considered among the band's best material.

It was daring to open the CD with "Never Let Me Go," a song sung by Suzanne Sulley. However, it's unfortunate that her voice is processed with a pitch correcter so that she's always in-tune. Memo to the band: Part of the charm of the Human League is hearing singers who are just slightly out of tune, so it's not a positive that this sort of technology is being used on Suzanne. Thankfully, the technology is never used on Phil Oakey's voice (witness Phil's wonderfully out-of-tune singing on "Privelege").

Strongest tracks include "Sky," "Single Minded," "Egomaniac," "Electric Shock," "Privelege," and "When The Stars Start To Shine." There are no weak songs on the CD.

So how would I rank "Credo" against the Human League's major body of work? In order from worst to best: 7) Crash, 6) Hysteria, 5) Credo, 4) Octopus, 3) Dare, 2) Secrets, and 1) Romantic?.

UPDATE: With the passage of time since I first wrote this review, I like Credo even more. You might get me to bump Credo up to #4, but rather than displacing Octopus, I would probably rank them a "tie" rather than one better than the other. Octopus has higher highs, but also lower lows. Credo, by contrast, never hits the heights of Octopus, but also don't have a bad song on it. And I have to admit--Credo has not left my CD player since I got it.
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on February 20, 2012
CREDO (2011) is the Human League's first studio album in ten years, it has great synthesizer sounds with heavy dance beats supporting the vocals of Philip Oakey, Susan Sulley and Joanne Catherall. This 47 minute CD with eleven new synth-pop songs should be celebrated by fans of synth-pop dance music. This new music recovers that Human League signature sound from 1983 that melds cold electronics with melodic lyrics. It is like Sweet-&-Sour food, the constant beats and metallic sounds that combine with the flow of marvelous melodies.

I really like CREDO because of the quick lyrics of the Human League, supported by the constant beats and accents from the synthesizers. The best thing about this album for me, is that it just gets better the more one listens to it.

I strongly recommend CREDO (2011) for Human League fans, because I think it is equal to their best albums, DARE! (1981) and FASCINATION (1983). The best thing for the normal listener to do, is go to the Human League's channel on YOUTUBE and watch the CREDO videos. The video for "Never Let Me Go" uses many special effects from camera lens and mirrors to make a fantastic video.

P.S. Americans should insure they buy the cheaper US release, instead of the more expensive IMPORT of this CD.

The CASE: I bought the CD release to get the packaging, I wanted the jewel case and a pretty booklet with lots of pictures, but that was not to be. The CD is slipped within a three-piece cardboard fold-out, with one small head-shot photo of each vocalist. The booklet lists the order of the song titles and has multiple pages of tiny white song lyrics on black pages. The tiny white lyrics are printed in various orientations and are hard to read, but at least they are on a solid background. I would have been just as happy downloading the MP3 songs.

ALSO: Human League fans may now download the MP3 songs from Fascination! that famous 1983 EP album which I also strongly recommend. You can also make a good purchase of Dare / Love & Dancing which is the ten songs from the famous DARE album combined with the eight extended dance mixes released in 1982.

Dance to the Synth-Pop music and enjoy !
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on May 24, 2011
I wish Human League would not take so much time between albums, hopefully next album will not be in ten years like the wait for Credo. I really love this album, it is classic Human League at some points one really feels like your back in time like it is 1984 or 1986, great album! Some of my favorite songs are Breaking The Chains, Night People, and Electric Shock. I also really like Privilege, Sky, and Egomaniac. Human League is so creative and talented, they stand the test of time. I live in the United States so had to buy the album online for some bizarre reason it is only released in stores in Europe seems quite odd for such a good album. As a fan of the band since I was a teen I highly recommend Credo to longtime Human League or new fans of this unique group! Good work, Phil, Joanne, and Susan!
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on July 13, 2011
After listening to some previews of the music, I wasn't sure. But, being a fan of the Human League since the '80s, and since I have every other CD of theirs, I decided to try it. After listening, it was okay...but after 3 or 4 listens, it's absolutely incredible. It is one of those recordings that you have to listen to several times before becoming addicted to the music. But, it's worth it! I cannot get these songs out of my head. Highly recommended for any Human League fan!
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on February 22, 2014
Updated 2-2016 - this album definately gets better with repeated listens!
I still think Secret is right up there on top, but this is a great CD, and a must have.

On first listen, this has more of the simplistic sound that you might have heard on earlier works like Dare.
Coming off of Secrets, which was a fantastic work by Human League, Credo starts out sounding a little disappointing.

I had somewhat dismissed it initially. Now that some time has passed, and with a few more listens under my belt, I find I really, really like Credo. Is it better than Secrets?

It's a great CD.

Just be sure to listen to it all the way through before dismissing it as I did back in 2011!
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on March 30, 2016
This is a great album from Human League, more modern but matured. I enjoyed it but kind of wish they would go back to a bit more minimal sound like the early stuff. I don't get why all the synth-pop bands feel they have to come out with some new modern version of themselves. Do what you do best and run with it. This album is worth the money...
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on April 12, 2011
These days everyone is a critic or a comedian; posting comments on people that are out there creating and living life, not sitting behind a monitor. Over this last year, recordings by Blancmange, Human League, Alphaville, Duran Duran, OMD, Blow Monkeys, and John Foxx have been released and have been critiqued as comeback recordings not quite worthy of this or that classic recording. Forget about living in the past. In this "Modern Age" I am so grateful to have anything that isn't Hip Hop or Country being released.
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Let me state upfront that I am a life-long fan of the Human League, I saw them on the "Dare" tour in 1981 in Brussels, Belgium, one of the most memorable concerts in my life-time. I loved the League's 1995 "Octupus" and 2001 "Secrets" albums, which were an incredible turnaround after having been in the music wilderness in the late 80s and early 90s. Now, after a 10 year lay-off, comes a new studio album.

"Credo" (11 tracks; 47 min.) starts off with its arguably best song "Never Let Me Go", a mildly interesting tune. The uptempo "Night People" follows and is alright. But then the album starts to falter. The same mid-tempo kinda track follows one after another, and while they are not unpleasant as such, they are not memorable. I've listened to this album a number of times now, and upon its conclusion, there isn't a single track that I can remember and hum. What a difference with the "Octupus" and "Secrets" albums (not to mention the Dare! and Hysteria albums from the early 80s).

It pains me to say this but as a life-long fan of the League, this album is not bad, but fails to deliver any outstanding highlights that you'll remember. I had the good fortune of seeing the League again live in the summer of 2008 when they came to Cincinnati, headlining an 80s bands package tour, and they put on a terrific show. If they come around to Cincinnati again in support of this album, you can bet I will be there, even though "Credo" is a mediocre addition to the rich Human League catalog.
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on June 2, 2011
This new Human League album has certainly generated a wide spectrum of feedback.

I love it. I believe the band have achieved something that's quite difficult; making an album that is current and 'of it's time', yet allowing the fans from 30 years ago to embrace the music.

The album to me has a classic Human League minimalism. The opening track - Never Let Me Go - had me singing along in no time, and there's an amazing remix for those that what a 'fuller' more danceable track. Night People was the first single and the song that had me eagerly waiting for the album; another classic track.

Sky has some intriguing lyrics, and some tracks - like Egomaniac - have trademark Human League dark humor.

Electric Shock was a pleasant surprise. Like a cheap (but good quality) bottle of champagne, it has lots of fizz and is delightfully delicious.
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