Soft Cell

This Last Night in Sodom

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For those whose exposure to Soft Cell has been limited to the glorious and inescapable "Tainted Love," the duo's 1984 swan song This Last Night in Sodom should feature a warning sticker. Singer Marc Almond and keyboardist Dave Ball don't attempt to recapture the Top 40 magic of that hit here. Instead, Almond completes his transformation into an electro-pop Scott Walker, operatically singing self-conscious and jaded songs like "Mr. Self-Destruct," "Little Rough Rhinestone," and "Meet Murder My Angel," while Ball's keyboards explore an icy, nearly Germanic abstraction (in the Kraftwerk/Neu! sense). Anyone intrigued by the prospect of faux-decadent torch songs in the Piaf/Brel tradition should be interested in this electronic hybrid of the style, but if you're looking for "Tainted Love, Pt. 2," it isn't here.

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