Album Reviews of the 80s

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M, "The Official Secrets Act" / 1980 Review by: Gary Perkins
After the disco pop excesses of the previous album, The Official Secrets Act proved to be something of a surprise. Some might say something of a disappointment.

The superpower conflict of the cold war and political paranoia are the themes, although they are presented in a typically tongue in-cheek style to ensure that it never becomes too downbeat. In terms of the musical content, this is much less accessible than anything on the last album and while there are plenty of good ideas, these are often lost among the bad ones. Nevertheless there are some high points. The two (very) minor hit singles, Official Secrets and Keep it to Yourself are by far the most instant tracks, although Working for the Corporation, Abracadabra and Join the Party can bear repeated listening. While unusual, Transmission (the world is a your fingertips) is also pleasant background listening with itís meandering muzak and bursts of disjointed radio broadcast.

On the downside the remainder is quite a difficult listen. Disagree? Try listening to Maniac and MíAider a few times.

All in all a rather disappointing follow up to the perfect pop of New York, London, Paris, Munich. But worth a listen. A re-issue is currently available with several additional tracks.

6 out of 10.

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