Saturday, February 14, 2009

Blame Cupid

As my Valentine to you, I want to share one of my favorite albums of all time: The Lexicon of Love, by ABC. You may ask incredulously, "who?" You may laugh out loud. You may think I'm ridiculous and never take my music suggestions seriously again, but I don't care. I loved this album the moment I first heard it, and never get tired of listening to it.

The Lexicon of Love was ABC's debut album, released in 1982. They have been described as early New Romantics: carrying over the glam of 70s disco, updating it with synthesizers and lush orchestration, and mixing in a luxurious retro vibe with their sparkly tuxedos and references to Fred Astaire. A lot of people have panned ABC and this album over the years, but I think its making a comeback as music critics realize its staying power. It was crazy and over the top during its time, and it still is! That's why I love it.

It seems funny to say this, but I love this album because it seems to capture my personality and experience with love more than anything else I've heard. It's witty, acerbic, self-deprecating yet arrogant, a little crazy, but contained and superbly crafted. The lyrics are poppy and bitter at the same time. There is an energy and earnestness tinged with desperation and resignation that conveys the vital importance of finding true love, even as the singer's heart is broken at every turn. Listening to this album on vinyl is even better, because the scratchiness of the record adds a gorgeous layer of nostalgia. I guess I can't really explain it fully, but this album makes me happy. I told you, I like sad music! But this is really happy sad music. Check out the cheesy video for "Poison Arrow"...


Lady Holiday said...

Ha! Just re-reading this post of mine makes me laugh. I would make a terrible music reviewer (I'm not even buying my own description of this album as having "staying power.") But seriously, it's such a great album! And my favorite part of "Poison Arrow" is:

"I thought you loved me, but it seems you don't care."

"I care enough to know I could never love you!"

dr sardonicus said...

Well, it was a good one, not the sort of thing I listen to every day, but the album did have its moments. "Poison Arrow" reminds me of college.