Search - Ivan :: Spell

Genres: World Music, Pop, Latin Music
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

Main man behind 'Men Without Hats'.


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CD Details

All Artists: Ivan
Title: Spell
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Import [Generic]
Release Date: 4/25/2000
Album Type: Import
Genres: World Music, Pop, Latin Music
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 774554302124


Album Details
Main man behind 'Men Without Hats'.

CD Reviews

What 80's music should have evolved into!
Chris D. | 08/13/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Nik Kershaw, a-ha, Nick Heyward, Howard Jones, Scritti Politti, Stephen Duffy, and so many other 80's artists, PLEASE TAKE NOTE: THIS WHAT YOU SHOULD HAVE EVOLVED INTO! Ivan has taken his Men Without Hats schtick and blossomed into a wonderful mix of techno-synthpop-groovy-dance cd of unforgettable toe tapping tunes. One of the best cd's in recent years. A must have for any synthpop or new wave fan who wonders what happened to some of the good stuff. Here it is."
Slippin Away...
Chris D. | Ocean Grove, NJ | 06/07/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)

"I am a fan of Men Without Hats. When I heard that Ivan had a solo album out, I bought it without having heard it first. Not a good move. Ivan tries to update the MWH formula to a more contemporary dance-electronica, but is unable to pull it off. It's not exactly awful, but it's certainly not great.

I can't understand all of the 5-star reviews for this disc. Rhythm of Youth, Folk of the 80's Part III, Pop Goes the World...a 5-star rating could be justified for any of fact, I did give Pop Goes the World 5 stars. Very little of the material on The Spell has the hooks and melodies found on most MWH songs. The lyrics won't win any prizes, either.

Even taken out of the MWH context, this still isn't a great album. The style of electronica Ivan uses on The Spell were out-of-date by the time this came out. For example, listen to the Pet Shop Boys album Bilingual, which came out 4 years before The Spell...or listen to Very, which came out 7 years before the spell. It seems likely that Ivan listened to them. And PSB did this sort of material he attempts here far better, as well as years did other bands. If you want to hear how an 80's synthpop band successfully updated their sound to 90's electronica, check out Alphaville's Salvation (which also came out a few years before The Spell, by the way).

And the songs themselves? Well, a few of them are pretty good - the title track, "Chain Reaction" and the Hi-NRG "Open Your Eyes" sound just fine, if not very original. But then there's dreadful songs like "1972" (a disco homage, and not a good one either) and the foul "www", which nobody seems to like at all. The rest of the album is so-so at best.

Only a MWH fanatic or completist should bother picking this one up. It is just not up to the standard set by MWH 80's work. If you are expecting another Rhythm of Youth or Pop Goes the World (or even another ...In The 21st Century), you will be disappointed. If you are expecting to hear a great bit of electronica...well, I still think you'll be disappointed.

Then again, the fact that you are even looking at this review probably means that you are an MWH nut and nothing you read here will make any difference. So go ahead, spend your money on The Spell. Show your support for Ivan. I still think that your money would be better spent tracking down the old "Folk of the 80's" or "Freeways" EP's than picking up this not-so-hot disc.
Techno Electronica with intense lyrics and great funk
Arnaud De Bonald | 06/15/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This album will amaze you, and put you in a spell. Front man Ivan from Men Without Hats ventures off into a new realm and proves that he is not washed up. Lyrics are fantasic and the music makes you want to dance away your troubles."