UNCUT - - New Al­bums -

Wan­der­lust blAnc cHecK 8/10 De­li­ciously droll syn­th­pop mas­ter­class

With Stephen Lus­combe re­tir­ing in 2011, Blanc­mange is os­ten­si­bly a solo ve­hi­cle for Neil Arthur, who’s spent the last four al­bums of his vin­tage act’s In­dian sum­mer star­ing into the void of mid­dle age with in­creas­ingly per­verse re­sults. On the ex­cel­lent Wan­der­lust he again works with synth con­nois­seur (and John Grant pro­ducer) Benge to help frame his mor­dant lyrics and avun­cu­lar pop with rich ana­logue mod­u­la­tions, cast­ing “Talk­ing To Ma­chines” as a cur­dled waltz and “I Smashed Your Phone” as a dystopian bal­lad. More per­ti­nent are “Leaves”, a Brexit lament, and the lan­guid groove of “TV De­bate”, with its blank verse of “Pink flamingo/Rees Mogg/Disco curfew…”. Reli­ably pe­cu­liar. pIErS MarTIn

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