Lost & Found: The Human League – Romantic?
By Classic Pop | May 22, 2020
If only the Human League’s sixth album had actually been their fourth, eh?
However, as house music and indie pop captured all the cool in 1990, comeback LPs from veteran synth-poppers were always going to be frowned upon. This new-look League would have known this, but did it anyway.
As a result, Romantic? was dismissed as dated and irrelevant, despite featuring some colourful, melodic, well-crafted pop tunes, partly thanks to their retention of legendary producer Martin Rushent. His fingerprints were all over the thrilling sequencing on launch single Heart Like A Wheel, a song they would have killed for in 1983.
The rest of the album is similarly unwilling to grieve for the past, with A Doorway? and the melancholy Rebound particular highlights, and the three front-of-house performers are all on form. Kiss The Future shows the most obvious nod to the times, with a New Jack Swing rhythm and vocal effects, while The Stars Are Going Out is genuinely epic.
Bits of filler – Mister Moon And Mister Sun and the twee Get It Right This Time, specifically – are bearable.
The album survived for just two weeks on the UK chart as completists saved it from troughing entirely, and Virgin dropped the band afterwards.
Determined, they made a stunning comeback with Octopus in 1995 and have made two more albums since while touring frequently.