Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Captain Sensible - The Power of Love

English singer-songwriter Captain Sensible followed his 1982 solo debut Women and Captains First (click here for that review) with The Power of Love. I had to do a bit of digging on the Internet just so I could review this 1983 release as it is a pretty rare record, so let’s see what we come up with.

Side one starts with the declaration “I’m a Spider”. Released as the second single from the album, this one has a decent mid-tempo beat and some odd observational lyrics.

“I Love Her” sounds like it stepped right out of mid-1960’s British pop music.

“Stop the World” was released as the first single; it peaked at number 82 in the UK. It opens with a variety of sounds, including church bells and computer bleeps. The Captain delivers this one in his rap-like vocal style similar to the last album’s “Wot”.

“Sir Donald’s Son” is a darker tune about a young man named Bradshaw who is frustrated with being introduced as the offspring of a famous man. He wants to stand on his own merits.

“It’s Hard to Believe I’m Not” is next. It has a very catchy rhythm to it that defies you to tap your foot along to it.

“Thanks for the Night” was first done solo by Sensible, though later his former band the Damned also did a version. It has a very urgent, edgy tempo to it.

Side two begins with “Glad It’s All Over”, the third single from the album which went all the way to number 6 in the UK. The lyrics reference the events of the Falklands War. I like the way the percussion is utilized in this one.

With a danceable beat, “Royal Rave Up” makes a mocking commentary on the British royal family and in particular Prince Andrew.

“Secrets” marries an up-beat and intense synth/rock sound with a darker lyrical tale of murder.

“It Would Be So Nice”, with a bit of a 60’s flavor, paints a picture of an idealistic life that is ignorant of the darker side of reality.

“The Power of Love” features a nice up-tempo pop sound. The Dolly Mixture provides the girl-group backing vocals here.

Closing out the record is “I Love You”. The simplistic sentiment is backed by an equally straight-forward Casio-like synth rhythm.

For me, The Power of Love is a rather mixed bag. On one hand you have some very critical pieces, with tongue in cheek too. On the other, some very straightforward pop songs. I am not quite sure where Captain Sensible was aiming but he apparently was covering a lot of the map.


HERC said...

While I embraced Johnny Rotten's post Sex Pistols gig with Public Image Ltd., I could not come to terms with Captain Sensible's similar move from The Damned to pop artist. None of his solo stuff appeals to me.

I even tried listening to this album just now and ended up skipping through every single track. Kudos to you sir for sticking it out all the way through.

Martin Maenza said...

I can be a glutton for punishment sometimes. ;)