The Communards

Red

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    9
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Opting to have Pet Shop Boys and New Order producer Stephen Hague lend his skills to half of their second record proved to be a smart move for Jimmy Somerville and Richard Coles. Red tops their respectable debut in nearly every aspect. Increasingly melodic, increasingly polished, and increasingly tight, the front-to-back strong album is a defining Euro-dance record of the latter half of the '80s. The re-working this record is based around is Gloria Gaynor's version of "Never Can Say Goodbye," which stands apart from any other recorded rendition thanks to Somerville's distinct vocals. Again, the poppy disco is broken up by the occasional piano workout, and Somerville continues to bounce around with differing lyrical subjects, including the gripping "For a Friend," written for an AIDS victim close to him and Coles. The two other singles from the record, "Tomorrow" and "There's More to Love Than Boy Meets Girl," are stronger than anything on the debut.

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