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Cruelty Without Beauty [Enhanced, Extra tracks]

Soft Cell, Soft CellAudio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 12 Songs, 2002 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2002 $17.31  
Audio CD, Enhanced, Extra tracks, 2002 --  

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Frequently Bought Together

Cruelty Without Beauty + Last Night in Sodom + Art of Falling Apart
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 8, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: 2002
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced, Extra tracks
  • Label: Cooking Vinyl
  • ASIN: B00006JO4W
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #332,475 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Darker Times
2. Monoculture
3. Le Grand Guignol
4. The Night
5. Last Chance
6. Together Alone
7. Desperate
8. Whatever It Takes
9. All Out Of Love
10. Sensation Nation
See all 12 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Jan Driver Radio Edit
2. Playgroup Remix
3. Antoine 909 & Oggie B Remix

Editorial Reviews

First Soft Cell studio album in 20 years features both original members Marc Almond and Dave Ball. Package includes a second bonus CD featuring exclusive remixes of the first single 'Monoculture'. 4 bonus tracks, 'Monoculture' (Jan Driver Radio Edit, Play

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Cruelty Without Beauty is a fun album that proves "old guys" can still perform with the best of the current crop and even better in many cases. While none of the songs are as sinister as old Soft Cell works (something I kind of lament), there remains a pop sensibility and lyrical and musical craftsmanship that is absent from nearly everything else in dance and techno anymore. Dave Ball has always been an expert at the synthesizer, and Marc Almond's lyrics are often entertainingly sleazy (although sometimes his refined voice makes me long for the days of his more urgent untrained/pitch-poor-yet-striking vocals). A few of the disc's 12 tracks are spotty ("Sensation Nation" being one of the most irritating songs, musically and lyrically, I've heard in yonks), but far more of the songs are well-done, and a few of them are simply amazing ("Le Grand Guignol" strikes me as the duo's best track--a vivid, sleazy updating of the original Soft Cell sound; and "Desperate," which mixes dancy rythms and last-legs-Vegas wah-wah into a breathtaking portrait of neediness). "Darker Times" gets the album off to a great start, mixing tinkling bells with club beats. "Monoculture," "The Night," "Together Alone," "All Out of Love," and "On an Up" all offer great listening. Will it gain any airplay? Probably not. Will it go unnoticed? Perhaps. But that would be too bad, as these boys can teach the current chart-squaters a lot.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Untainted October 20, 2002
Format:Audio CD
One of the reviews I read here stated that this isn't really the old Soft Cell sound but more an extension of David Ball's work with the Grid. This may be true to an extent but if you listen to this new Soft Cell CD a couple of times, you will certainly distinguish the old Soft cell sounds within each track. Back are the signiture clarinets and trumpets that the guys used on many of their past songs from the 80's. "last Chance" sounds like "Wave Hello, Say goodbye" prequal. "Darker Times" is dancable and reminds me of a cross between "Memorabilia" and "Soul Inside." "Carigual Syndrome" would have fit perfectly on "This Last Night in Sodom" Some of the songs do sound like nothing they ever recorded before. "Le Grand Guiginal" and "Together Alone" comes to mind here.
The best way I can sum up this CD is to imagine if Soft cell never broke up after 1984 and made 8 or 9 more CDs after "Last Night in Sodom." Well this one sounds like the "next" CD in that progression. It's like they never stopped recording together. While the roots of their earlier work are present, there is certainly no rehashing here. It's Soft Cell 2002.
This CD obviously has a much more mature sound to it than their earlier work and is reflected in Marc Almond's voice and the fact that they had plenty of time in between recordings {18 years...geez} to grow as musicians.
My favorite tracks are "The Night", "Darker Times", "Le Grand Guginal", "Carguial Syndrome" and "Whatever it Takes." But really, there isn't a bad track on here, its that good.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An older, wiser but honest Soft Cell! May 18, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Nowadays it seems several 80's bands are reforming for the money and/or just for the sake of doing it without really having anything new to say. This is what I first thought the situation was with this new Soft Cell album before I popped it onto the CD player for the first spin. Thankfully to my surprise I was dead WRONG! Cruelty without Beauty is a FANTASTIC example of how bands SHOULD do it! Since their last album 18+ years ago the band hasn't been sleeping, more like waiting on the sidelines, absorbing information and influences. Finally when the time is right they decide to strike, and have PLENTY to say! I got into Soft Cell way back in Jr. High, it was something different and had a soul unlike many others. That soul is still there, but a little more mature, a little more grown up. Dave Ball's playing is phenomenal, and Marc's voice is stronger and has a much more solid foundation. Several songs from their earlier albums I could relate to back in Jr. High (Frustration was almost my theme song) and this disc hits the nail on the head for me today(Monoculture is the PERFECT example of what my frustration & perception of what the world is right now) The themes are updated (Whatever It Takes, Sensation Nation) even poking fun at what other artists (or even maybe themselves) are willing to do for that last shot of glory (like in Desperate) which certainly proves the band decided to focus on music integrity rather than cashing in on the hit single. However if the modern music industry has not changed and gone in the toilet so much I guarantee Monoculture and All Out of Love would be hitting the airwaves with full force. But alas, times have changed and it's nice to see Soft Cell release an honest album. It's a shame it won't get more exposure and is likely to only remain a "hidden treasure".
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Valiant Return For Synthpop Icons October 25, 2002
Format:Audio CD
Soft Cell was one of the groups that truly helped launch the "synthpop" movement as we know it today. David Ball handcrafted wonderful electronic grooves around Marc Almond's soulful voice. 18 years after the last Soft Cell album, the same chemistry between the two hasn't faltered.
The first single "Monoculture" sounds as classic as any Soft Cell dance number, with just a hint of The Grid (David Ball's post Soft Cell electronic project). The song will pull you onto the dancefloor as easily as "Memorabillia" or "Tainted Love."
The rest of the album is a fantastic blend of vintage Soft Cell pop and balladry. Instrumentation is a superb cross-polination of classic synths and modern electronics. You can tell from the start that this is Soft Cell, but you don't feel like it is simply a rehash of old ideas. In fact the album fits right in with today's leading electronic acts.
The album will atract both longtime Soft Cell / Almond fans and those who were still in diapers when the group began. With bands like Depeche Mode drifting further and further from the synthpop that made them so famous, it is refreshing to see a veteran act like Soft Cell back as fresh as they were back in 1981.
Grab the CD and enjoy the bonus CD with 3 remixes of "Monoculture" and the humorous video as well. Then pull out some vintage 80's clothing, color your hair bright blue, and dance like a fool. Soft Cell is back....
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Quietly forgotten GEM
Sadly this release from SC was never properly marketed and subsequently came and went fairly quietly. I feel that this is one of, if not the best Soft Cell album to date. Read more
Published on December 19, 2011 by B. McDaniel
5.0 out of 5 stars Soft Cell is great
All I can say is WOW. WOW WOW WOW. This is a great album. I really don't know how I missed this for years on end. As a huge Soft Cell fan I really was missing out until now. Read more
Published on March 23, 2009 by Chris Underwood
5.0 out of 5 stars A great comeback
I was a little late finding about this album, but better late than never :)

It took me a while to like this and that is a plus in my rating of an album. Read more
Published on May 7, 2008 by Matt LA
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly an Exceptional Album
What an amazing album. Truly an exceptional piece. Every time I listen I get goose bumps and not only because of how great the album is, but the integrity that is behind this... Read more
Published on March 30, 2006 by Jeff L
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally awesome - a MUST HAVE for Soft Cell fans
If you've ever liked Soft Cell, you'll like this new CD. The song writing is just as good or better than Soft Cell's recordings back in the day. Read more
Published on September 1, 2003 by ericschultz512
4.0 out of 5 stars More than your run-of-the-mill reunion CD
Pleasantly surprising. Somehow this goes beyond reunion CDs that many 80s bands put out. It doesn't sound desperate or obligatory. Read more
Published on March 31, 2003 by itsjoev
1.0 out of 5 stars I can't believe anyone could give this a good review!
This has to be one of the most disappointing cd's I've ever bought. I wasn't too surprised, however, what with the horrible stuff Almond's been putting out for the last few years. Read more
Published on March 10, 2003 by xoman
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, worth getting
This is better than I thought it would be and it has some really godd cuts on it. Still - Almond has done some fine solo work and Ball's stuff with The Grid was even better. Read more
Published on January 21, 2003 by DonMac
5.0 out of 5 stars Cruelty without Beauty ~ Soft Cell
This takes you back to deep dark lyrics with a beat you can dance to. One the best since non-stop erotic cabaret. Great here David ball and Marc Almond togeter
Published on December 5, 2002 by Raul D. Martinez Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars A GEM!!!
Never being a huge Soft Cell fan I bought this CD with some skepticism. I have always thought they had great talent having written songs like Wave Hello Say Goodbye, Tainted Love... Read more
Published on November 5, 2002 by Laszlo Nanasi-Lopategui
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