A Flock of Seagulls

I Ran: The Best Of

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A Flock of Seagulls were the missing link between Gary Numan and Duran Duran. The Liverpool, England, new wave scenesters captured the faux-science fiction vibe of the '80s with echo-laden rock anthems, chilly love songs, and a unique, post-glam fashion sense. For their tenth "greatest hits" package -- one was an album of remixes -- they offer their fans a vanity project. Flock leader Mike Score, who from the looks of the cover art had spent the last few years immersed in endless games of Grand Theft Auto and Miami Vice reruns, has re-recorded nine of the group's best-loved tracks for the deceptively titled I Ran: The Best Of. His reverence for the material is obvious, as nary a note nor drum fill has been altered from the originals, yet the limp production, flat, factory synth patches, and uninspired vocals make the whole endeavor an exercise in bowling-alley karaoke. Why bother? The prototypes were classic decade-rendered snapshots of forward-thinking pop that transcended much of the garbage being thrown back into the cupboards of the mid-'80s Top 40 charts, and to hear them reduced to what should have been a late-night project fueled by nostalgia and a few too many beers -- but was somehow green lit for release -- is insulting to the wild-eyed romanticism that was uncorked at their inception. The inclusion of five remixes (of the new versions) by a rotating cast of nobodies only adds length to this physical manifestation of the word "unnecessary."

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