The Danse Society

Heaven Is Waiting

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Big things were expected after Arista won an early-'80s bidding war for this U.K. quintet, but this outing was as far as they got. Heavy on gloomy atmosphere, thanks to the somber vocals of Steve Rawlings, but short on memorable songs, Heaven Is Waiting failed to deliver on the promise Danse Society displayed early in their career. However, the album isn't without interest. Augmented by Lyndon Scarfe's keyboard work, the group gave their brand of goth rock a high-tech makeover that was unusual in their day, and is still appealing in small doses. The powerful title track became one of the definitive goth dance anthems of the '80s, alongside similar cuts like Bauhaus' "Kick in the Eye" and Sisters of Mercy's "This Corrosion." Built on a bed of ominously ticking sequencers that spiral into an abrasive, memorable chorus, it's the group's career highlight. Nothing else here is as good, although "Red Light (Shine)" and "Angel" mine the same fertile territory with some success. But the cover of the Stones' "2000 Light Years From Home" never quite takes off, and by side two there's more dark style on display than actual songs. The album is worth seeking out for the handful of choice tracks, although a definitive greatest-hits collection would presumably make that unnecessary. (Note to collectors: the British version of the album contains four bonus tracks.)