A Flock of Seagulls

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Following their gold-selling Top 10 debut, A Flock of Seagulls returned in 1983 with Listen. Mike Howlett again handled the production chores, but the band errantly chose to pursue even more reliance on electronics, which gives Listen a bit of a sterile feel. Nonetheless, there are still several tracks here that are as strong as their debut, even if, as a whole, the album isn't as consistent. Listen spawned only one hit, but it's a gem; the multi-layered, hypnotic "Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)." Other standouts include the eerie, moody "Nightmares" with its sparse guitar and synthesizer squawks, and a surprisingly effective ballad "Transfer Affection." Ultimately, the band loses the plot on the second half, when they seem to forget melodies and focus on hardware; although the Bill Nelson-produced "(It's Not Me) Talking" is a bracing, breakneck tempo return to their interest in aliens. Listen is most likely to be enjoyed most by die-hard fans of the band.

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