Thursday, December 27, 2012

"Men Without Hats" New Album Review: "Love In The Age Of War"

Months after completing their first North American tour in over 20 years," Men Without Hats" releases their first full album in nine years, "Love In The Age Of War".
Of his first U.S. tour in over 20 years last year, "Ivan Doroschuk" said he had a blast performing his classic hits. Thus, it is natural that Love in the Age of War would be a virtual throwback to "Men Without Hats’ years of early success, with high energy synth tracks reminiscent of Rhythm of Youth and Folk of the 80s (Part III). Back are the raw, upbeat keyboard melodies and bass lines that anchored the MWH signature sound.

The lead track, “Devil Comes Round” hits the listener with early new-wave “space age” effects and retro-style pitch bending before Doroschuck’s booming voice comes in, a voice that mellows out a bit for “Head Above Water,” the first single from the album. The latter mixes a more modern pop approach to the classic MWH style. Those cuts are contrasted by the title song, which cunningly switches from the instrumentally raw (similar to the reprise version of “The Great Ones Remember” and “Things in My Life” from Rhythm of Youth) to a chorus that pays homage to the band’s Pop Goes the World and …In the 21st Century albums.
As Men Without Hats surprised fans with two country tracks in Men Without Hats’ 1991 Sideways, the band included a few twists in Love in the Age of War: a nod to the disco era with “Your Beautiful Heart” and a stunning ballad in 6/8 time, “Close To the Sun.”und as Doroschuk superbly employs his signature baritone voice, one-beat falsettos and ability to stretch out a one syllable word into several (‘everybody kno-o-ows”).
While Men Without Hats went back to their roots with Love in the Age of War; the music is as danceable as their creations were in the '80s and would translate quite well to the modern club floors as the new wave sound continues its comeback.

I personally have listened to the new album at least 15 times so far, and my appreciation for this new release grows with every listen. To me it seems to be a an album contrived in the 1980s, not pushing 30 years later or so. I highly recommend this album to 80s' 'Synth/pop" lovers! Here is a little taste of the new album for you! Enjoy...  Tommy Mac

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