Review 16: Monkey in the moon – this one’s made for you

Alphaville_Salvation

Salvation
Alphaville
Nominated by Wess Hattingh

This tasty slice of synth pop almost made me miss my change on the tube. I was in the zone, bopping away, and things just got better – all the people crowding the carriage suddenly disappeared! A wave of surprised delight went through my mind, before I realised we were at Finsbury Park and I had to follow most of them quickly onto the Piccadilly Line.

Big in Japan is the only Alphaville song I’m familiar with, their classic dancing-round-the-handbags debut from 1984. Salvation seems quite different – less catchy, less formulaic and a lot weirder, in a nice way. It has a gently hypnotizing quality, with a mix of chilled synth music and earnest vocals that remind me of Brian Wilson (the former Beach Boy who went rogue).

And the lyrics are bizarre, while making a strange musical sense.

Monkey in the Moon is the best. I can’t work it out, but ‘it’s made for you’ and there’s a rabbit involved too.

Pandora’s Lullaby: ‘And when the subway brakes to preserve some suicidal bee
I stop to breathe for a while. Maybe it was me’. Maybe it was…

Salvation made me happily oblivious to Caledonian Road, Holloway Road and Arsenal. It is therefore great!

(Like the music, the cover art  is also great but inexplicably symbolic. The cross, I get, the red motif means something (or nothing) and the greyhound – faith, loyalty? Purple fabric? It’s the pile of plates on the inside cover that  stumps me.)

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