Solid 80's Techno
SRFireside | Houston, TX United States | 02/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A lot of people jibe about how Camouflage just tries to be like Depeche Mode. While Camouflage's sound can only be described as DM-esque this album has a very different sound than that of DM if you stop to really listen to more than just effect. That being said if you had to compare Depeche Mode would still be the superior songwriters, however Camouflage has a style and structure that sets them apart from their apparent peers. This music I suppose can be called industial/techno, however it's a bit lighter than the hard-edged industrial groups of the day like Bigod 20, Nitzer Ebb or Ministry. So yeah... Depeche Mode kind of industrial/techno.
Voices and Images probably is their most well defined album in regards to the genre. The music is straight electronic of that day and anybody who's into that genre can appreciate this album. The beats are solid and punchy. The synths are a combination of hard syncopation and breathy voxes. The lyrics are thoughful and have an edge of social commentary on them. No superficial lyrics or fluffy love songs in here, but that's a good. It's always refreshing to broaden your scope.
Anybody who clubbed in the late 80's knows THE GREAT COMMANDMENT. Definitely a great song that epitomizes the Voices and Images sound. While I find many times the "hits" of an artist aren't always their best work I would be hard pressed to say that here. TGC combines a tight beat with opposing bass lines and the Camouflage "vox" sound along with those lyrics I mentioned. Probably the best representation of the band.
THAT SMILING FACE is a very nice song that's laid back as well as dancey. This one was also considered a hit in Europe, but I don't recall ever hearing it broadcast in the states (much to my chagrin). The CD version is a little different from the cassette/vinyl version as they add some record static at the beginning along with a giggle from Marcus (apparently they enjoyed going to digital).
STRANGER THOUGHTS is a really good song too. The beat gets broken up and sparse during the verses but the way it all falls together in the choruses really give this song a lot of energy. I consider the chorus of this song the best in the album... something you'll either want to sing along with or just soak up.
WINNER TAKES NOTHING is a great song in a wierd way. It has a freaked out Eastern sound to it and the beat seems to go all over the place, but you can still dance to it. This song might not be for everybody due to it's... um... originality. But man. What a ride!
MUSIC FOR BALLERINAS and I ONCE HAD A DREAM are really nice, laid back songs. BALLERINAS is more uplifting and ambient. Something to watch a sunset by. DREAM is more like an industrial sad song done in an industrial waltz pattern. I know that sounds odd, but trust me. It works. Both are good songs.
POMPEJI is another bonus that was never on vinyl or cassette. It was actually a B-Side for The Great Commandment 12" remix album. It's moody like I ONCE HAD A DREAM, but much more brooding and dark. It's also the most ambient track on the CD. A definite treat in my book.
The songs I didn't mention range between "still pretty good" to "just okay" in my opinion. THEY CATCH SECRETS is probably the least of the songs. I think it was a B-side for That Smiling Face 12", but I can't be sure. Anyway if you liked The Great Commandment back in the 80's then you'll love this album. If you like that classic industrial/techno sound similar to Depeche Mode this is also a winner for you too."
George | Philadelphia, PA | 05/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"MY FAVORITE ALBUM EVER!!!
FORGET THE COMPARISONS TO DEPECHE MODE, CAMOUFLAGE HOLD THEIR OWN. GREAT VOCALS, MELODIES AND LYRICS."