Winter Driving Best Books of the Month Men's Leather Watches Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Nothing But Thieves All-New Amazon Fire TV Amethyst Jewelry Find the Best Purina Pro Plan for Your Pet Beauty V-Day Amazon Gift Card Offer jstfd6 jstfd6 jstfd6  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage Shop Now SnS
Customer Review

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can never go over-the-top enough!, August 17, 2005
This review is from: The Lexicon Of Love (Audio CD)
The New Romantic movement gave us many memorable artists, but perhaps none left as stylish and indelible a mark as Sheffield's ABC. The band first hit the U.K. charts with "Tears Are Not Enough" on their own Neutron label. Interest in the single lands them a deal with a major label and Trevor Horn (Yes, Art of Noise) agrees to produce their first full length recording. The end result "Lexicon of Love" is one of the quintessential New Romantic recordings. A lush paean to love it summons echoes of Roxy Music, but at the same was very original and unique. Fronted by vocalist extraordinaire Martin Fry the crack four man group was ably augmented by Horn's studio wizardry. Equal parts intelligence, flamboyance and swagger Fry commands the show and his lyrics reflect a mixture of ecstasy and agony, treachery and regret, irony and sorrow. Hearing the original demo of "Tears..." you can hear the genesis of what would evolve under the benevolent tutelage of Trevor Horn. Who made who is obvious.

The curtain lifts on with the dramatic opener "Show Me" with Fry soaring to a wonderful falsetto at points amid a lush orchestrated backdrop, the perfect set up for "Poison Arrow," perhaps one of their best tracks. The video of "Poison Arrow" is perhaps most indelibly etched in people's memories for the band in white ties and Martin cavorting in the infamous gold lamé suit with an 80s beauty. On the pulsating track the wonderful Tessa Niles plays vocal foil to Martin who posits "I thought you loved me, but it seems you don't care" to which Tessa counters "I care enough to know I can never love you" to a crescendo of drums. The song is absolute ecstasy and my all-time favorite. "Many Happy Returns" starts off with a spoken into and then rapidly picks up tempo and actually points the direction ABC would go with the following release "Beauty Stab." Fry's lyrics and the raw emotionalism of the song is quite striking and it gives yet another chance to show off his astonishing falsetto. "Many Happy Returns" glides into the rambunctious "Tears Are Not Enough" which kicks off with Martin's highest falsetto. The track crackles with life recalling Haircut 100 (a contemporary New Romantic band) with its lively horns and prominent bass line. While it bears a passing resemblance to the demo version it's clear that Trevor Horn is the mastermind pumping life and energy into the recording. Heavy strings and glockenspiel (or is it fairlight?) open "Valentines Day" with Martin pushing his vocals to their very limits building to a crescendo where Martin implies "I'd be a Millionaire; I'd be a Fred Astaire." There's nowhere to go but the first single that broke ABC in the USA, "Look of Love (Part One)" which summons up images of the dapper band from their music video. Vocally this is a showcase for Martin's full range, from low spoken asides and growls up to his falsetto. Musically its ABCs absolute zenith with full orchestration and once its over its hard to imagine where you could go from such ecstasy, but there's more cards up Martin's sleeve. "Date Stamp" is pure Trevor at the intro pointing at things to come for Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Propaganda, and others. Martin and Tessa heat things up in what is practically a duet against a thumping bass line. What follows is perhaps one of my favorite track "All of My Heart" a profoundly felt song on love, loss, and regret reflected in Martin's vulnerable and heartfelt vocals. For me the recording could and should have ended here as there's no way you could top the sentiments and raw emotionality in "All of My Heart." Recalling not so much "Manifesto" or "Flesh and Blood" era Roxy Music as it does "Avalon" it would be the obvious direction for ABC to continue. Instead things resume with "4 Ever 2 Gether" a slight tune with a rather creepy intro and eerie backing track that hints somewhat at where they would go with "Beauty Stab." The rather fitting coda to it all is the closing blast of "Look of Love (Part Four)." The original recording had "Look of Love (Part Two)" which is not included here, but "Theme From Mantrap," a track from their spy movie/accompanying full length video (on VHS and Laserdisc). Thematically "Mantrap" fits in with the rest of the tracks, and many of the tracks on "Lexicon..." were used in "Mantrap."

ABC epitomized everything great about the New Romantics and this recording perfectly encapsulates 1982 and that era. ABC were on the cutting edge with sumptuous videos and sterling production. From "Lexicon..." they moved to the perceived misstep of "Beauty Stab" from which they would recover. "Lexicon..." has nary a dull track and will have you enthralled from start to finish. A must for any fan of 80s or New Romantic music!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 4, 2012 3:24:02 PM PDT
Sodenfir says:
Beauty Stab is beginning to be reappraised by critics who wrote it off in 1983.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details



Location: Atlanta, GA USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,796