Alison Moyet


Cooking Vinyl

BACK in the spring of 1982, Yazoo's Only You introduced the voice of Alison Moyet to the world and became one of those rare hits (it reached No.2, and The Flying Pickets' a cappella cover version was the following year's Christmas No.1) that was both a pop smash and a favourite of the hip indie kids. 35 years on, Moyet has produced her ninth solo album – four years on from The Minutes, which made the top five in the album charts. Other is in many ways a strange beast, but if what her fans still want is the sound of the 80s, it has that in spades.

Guy Gigsworth, who has also assisted Bjork and Madonna, is Moyet's songwriting foil here, but is sounds as if he was very much in a supporting role. Against a backdrop of retro electronica, Moyet, who will be 56 on Sunday, spins a succession of wordy tales that sometimes seem to parody the lyrical self-consciousness of New Romantic era Spandau Ballet, Simple Minds and Duran Duran. I Germinate, The English U, and Reassuring Pinches all mine this seam, Beautiful Gun is more straightforwardly – and phallically – out of the garage, and April 10 is an excursion into spoken word. Penultimate track Happy Giddy is the closest to the perfect pop of Yazoo.

Keith Bruce