Various Artists

New Romantics [EMI 1996]

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New Romantics is a decent, if somewhat flawed look at the theatrical, Roxy Music/David Bowie-influenced new wave subgenre. There are a number of obscurities and/or questionable selections -- the robotic synth-pop of Kraftwerk and Devo don't really fit the definition of "new romantic," for example -- and the artists here aren't always represented by one of their better-known tracks. But most of the movement's standout bands are here, like Duran Duran ("Girls on Film"), Spandau Ballet ("Lifeline"), Heaven 17 ("We Don't Need This Fascist Groove Thing"), OMD ("Messages"), Japan ("Quiet Life"), the Human League ("Empire State Human"), Ultravox ("The Voice"), and China Crisis ("African and White"). It isn't definitive, since acts like ABC, Talk Talk, A Flock of Seagulls, and Naked Eyes are missing, but the collection will ultimately clue listeners in on what the new romantic movement was all about.

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