Howard Jones

Human's Lib

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Human's Lib is fueled by the nonstop synth-pop hooks and brightly textured melodies that went on to be a trademark of Howard Jones. His brand of spirited keyboard-and-lyric exuberance lent itself to a large part of the mid-'80s, especially in Britain. The tracks on Human's Lib are energetic and colorful, coming to life the best on "New Song," a number 27 hit for Jones in the U.S., and on the finely structured "What Is Love?," which gave him the number 33 spot on the singles chart four months later. While both of these songs rested at the bottom end of Billboard's Top 40, they went to number three and number two, respectively, in the U.K., with the album going all the way to number one, proving that his techno-pop stylings were better-appreciated on his side of the Atlantic. Outside of the singles, the album still holds well, with efforts like "Hide and Seek," "Conditioning," and "Pearl in the Shell" following through with a buoyant but orderly techno-pop keenness mustered through his clean use of the synthesizer. Although 1985's Dream Into Action is tighter both musically and lyrically, Human's Lib acts as a well-grounded starting point for Jones' future success.

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