Monday, July 12, 2010

A Certain Ratio – “Mind Made Up”


A Certain Ratio – “Mind Made Up”

As you probably already know, there aren’t many “new” releases that I pay attention to. Three of my favorite English acts are still somewhat ‘active’ – Scritti Politti, The Monochrome Set and A Certain Ratio. This year we got a new CD from A Certain Ratio – “Mind Made Up” (LTM Records France CD: LTMCD 2531, 2010). It’s true that it took quite a while for me to find a copy of this album. Not released in England? Hmmm…

Their previous ‘new’ album “Change The Station” was released in 1996 – since then, all we’ve had are collections or re-issues of other ‘old’ albums. There was a CD Single for “Starlight” in 2002 – this song appears on “Mind Made Up”.

13 tracks of Brit-funk in 2010. ACR never had the popularity of Level 42, but they’re also still in business in 2010. Britfunk. I also like Freeez, Shakatak…but A Certain Ratio holds a special place in my 80’s music fandom. I was lucky enough to have seen them play live, and I have bought all of their albums and singles in ‘real time’ as they were released. Not all of their 12” singles have made it to CD format, unfortunately.

My friend Bob told me that he thought “Mind Made Up” sounded like “A C R’s greatest hits – except that it was all new songs”. I kind of agree – it’s pretty good. I know those guys are my age (or a little older) – but they still essentially “sound the same” as they always did. Nice ‘n’ tight.

The highlight of this album for me is a rather short (under 3 minutes) instrumental track called “Skunk” – the very essence of ACR, as far as I am concerned.

I missed them when they came to L.A. last year as one of the “Part Time Punks” festival – I don’t even remember why I missed them, but I did. Who knows? Maybe they’ll come back one day? Will we have to wait another 14 years for another album of new material?

To me it seems like such an event to get a new album from a group that I’ve known and loved for nearly 30+ years. It’s almost like they have survived the total destruction of the music business. They remain in Manchester, UK.

1 comment:

Brian Ware said...

I kinda feel the same way about Wang Chung. Last month we had the first official new music from them in 21 years. Their sound has evolved somewhat being more guitar driven and less "synthy" in the classic 80s sense, but it's still great tuneful pop music - well played and well sung. The recent tour was terrific with a third of the set list being new material which was very well received.
The fact that my 12 year old son is just smitten with it makes it all feel even better...