Lost & Found: The Human League – Romantic?
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.