Culture Club

Don't Mind If I Do

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Culture Club's first album in 13 years doesn't disappoint on any level, and proves why they were one of the biggest bands of the 1980s. In fact, it's easily their most solid, mature, and focused album. They effortlessly blend together all the musical elements that made them a pop phenomenon, ranging from rock, soul, dance, and reggae to come up with a near perfect pop album. Boy George's vocals are as smoky, torchy ,and seductive as ever, and the band sounds tight and completely in tune with one another. Light reggae influences abound on this set, from the first single "I Just Wanna Be Loved," to the catchy, radio-ready "Maybe I'm a Fool" and the European hit "Your Kisses Are Charity" (which, on the single, featured vocals by Dolly Parton). The album also has its share of soulful, melancholy ballads, including the closer, "Less Than Perfect," which harks back to their Colour by Numbers Euro-hit "Victims," and the masterfully dark "Cold Shoulder," which ranks among the band's best. Then there's the retro-rock of "Sign Language," the irresistible, Latin-tinged dance song "Black Comedy," and their inspired take on the David Bowie classic "Starman." Not only is this a great album from start to finish, it is chock-full of songs which could be easily destined for hit single status. It is truly a mystery why this album was not released in the U.S., given the band's lasting popularity and Boy George's continuous media presence. This set would have easily been a hit, especially during the late-'90s/early-2000s craze for '80s music. A solid, satisfying album through and through.

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