If Duran Duran was a mix of Chic and Roxy, then Living in a Box was a new romantic band (minus the makeup) with a collection of soul and funk records (and sharp suits). Their first album is a fast-paced affair mostly dated now due to Marcus Vere's overly '80s keyboard sounds. Aside from the abysmal "Going for the Big One," which should never have seen the outside of the studio, there are still some good examples of post new romantic mid-'80s funk. The first four -- comprising the title track, "Love Is the Art," "So the Story Goes," and the ballad "From Beginning to End" -- all hold up reasonably well, and strangely enough sounded like they'd been around for years even at the time (particularly "Story," in that the keyboards are kept to a minimal ambient wash with Richard Darbyshire's husky vocals to the front). Also worth noting are "Scales of Justice" and "Can't Stop the Wheel," which proved their capabilities to further heights in the Steely Dan/Michael McDonald vein. A pity that "Ecstasy" (wasted as a B-side) and the 7" versions of "Love Is the Art" and "So the Story Goes" with Bobby Womack are missing in action, though.
AllMusic Review by Kelvin Hayes