J. Brady | PAWLEYS ISLAND, SC United States | 09/03/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While not the ground breaking and influential work that Yazoo's Upstairs at Eric's was, You and Me Both nontheless contains as many hooks and bouncy tunes, combined with brooding, dark ballads, to make it an exceptional, and essential album. There are - thankfully, some might say - no experimental songs along the lines of "I Before E Except After C" ( from Upstairs...), just great pop songs. The opener "Nobody's Diary" is one of the finest songs vocalist Alison Moyet has ever written, as is the incredibly moving ballad "Ode to Boy". I noticed something in the sleeve notes of interest ( to me, at least ) - the songs are alternately written by Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet, with one, "State Farm", listed as co-written ( although I am inclined to believe Clarke simply wrote some lyrics and added a few extra synth lines, as State Farm is virtually the same song as (Knocking for a)"Good Time" which appears on the other side of the album, and was written by Moyet alone.) And they are presented in a way that gives us one song by one writer, then the next by the other , and so on, all the way through. This, along with the brilliant cover art depicting two dalmation dogs looking ready to tear into each other, is somewhat telling of the conflict within the duo. Indeed, as they were recording this album, they had already decided to call it quits, and split very shortly after its release. Together for just 18 months as a duo, Yazoo managed to combine high art with pop splendor, chilly electronics with gospel/blues influenced vocals, garner rave reviews from critics, and sell boat loads of albums and singles ( in the UK at least - here in the US they remained a more underground sensation ). In retrospect, You and Me Both is a great "thank you and goodbye" from the best of the early-eighties synth-pop duos."
A hidden gem
T. Kavanagh | Ireland | 07/17/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"'You & Me Both' is a meatier affair than its predecessor, 1982's 'Upstairs at Eric's'. Part of the reason is the inclusion, this time around, of more songs written by Alison Moyet. The runaway success of the duo's first album has left many people with the impression that all of the songwriting was done by Vince Clarke. Moyet was credited only for her fantastic voice, but little else. This album redresses that balance and showcases six of her own compostions and also the gritty 'State Farm', which she co-wrote. Two of her songs, the UK hit 'Nobody's Diary' and the sensuous 'Ode To Boy' are by far the best tracks here. However, Vince Clarke's 'Mr Blue' is quite a stealthy charmer too. The moody anti-war song, 'Unmarked', the dramatic 'Anyone' and 'Softly Over' are also highlights on this darker second album. Only the bubbly 'Walk Away From Love' and the electro-funk of 'Sweet Thing' hark back to the bouncier 'Upstairs At Eric's'.The release of 'You & Me Both' coincided with an announcement that Yaz was to split. Vince went on to become half of Erasure, who socred several huge European hits. Alison became one of the UK's most popular solo singers in the '80s and, in the '90s, evolved into a gritter, earthier artist. Her first two albums ('Alf' and 'Raindancing') are still available and will appeal to Yaz fans. Her fantastic third and fourth albums ('Hoodoo' and 'Essex') are hard to find but her excellent 'Singles' compilation will help fill in some gaps. Her long-awaited new album will be released in January 2001."
Vocal brilliance, interesting backing
J. Brady | 08/25/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Many casual listeners, and even some Yaz fans, aren't as high on this album as their debut release, "Upstairs at Eric's," but it has its own charms, chief being Alison Moyet's beautiful vocals.If there's one spot where this album isn't up to the bar set by "Upstairs," it is that there is no song to quite compete with "Only You," perhaps the most wistful, enchanting, haunted song of the decade. There are echoes in two songs: "Softly Over" and especially "Mr. Blue," but no song captures the essence of "Only You." "Mr. Blue" comes closest, in the verse beginning: "I come to you at night/When all the world is sleeping tight..."There are however, one or two energetic songs which compete favorably with "Upstairs"'s other big hit, "Don't Go." The underrated "Sweet Thing" and fast-paced "Walk Away from Love" have engaging synth backings to match Moyet's impassioned singing.Beyond the aforementioned "Mr. Blue" and "Softly Over," the ballads are solid, but not spectacular. "Nobody's Diary" is the best of the rest of the lot, although "Ode to Boy" comes close, with its half-spoken lyrics, and "Anyone" features two throaty wails from Moyet which can make the teeth chatter.One small complaint: some backing synth arrangements begin to sound similar, to themselves and to ones used on "Upstairs at Eric's." Clarke would go on to more highly creative synth arranging with Erasure, and "Alf" Moyet started a solo career -- but Yaz and "You and Me Both" claim an important spot in the history of synth-pop, and should not be overshadowed by later solo work."
Can't get it out of my mind
Denise | San Francisco, CA | 10/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These comments apply to "Upstairs at Eric's" and "You and Me Both" by Yaz:
Turned on to these albums in high school in a very interesting way (long story ... :->), I have not been able to get these albums out of my head. (The fact that later I was able to connect with one of my supervisors over these very albums is another very interesting story ....)
I bought the cassettes when they first came out, then later the CDs, and somewhere along the line lost the CDs and bought them again recently.
These albums are most excellent, with a classic late 1980s/ early 1990s feel with a slightly different twist. I like the beat that is indicative of the time, but the lyrics, the language, has a meat, a bite, with much more depth than a lot of the music of that same time.
To me, a music library is just not complete without these two albums, and now that I've verified my previously purchased CDs are not merely misplaced in a move but truly lost, I feel much more complete now that I've repurchased these albums and have them in my musical collection.
I could discuss each track in laborious detail - but suffice it to say, if you're even remotely a fan of late 1980's/early 1990's music, you'll love Yaz. "
This album is just as good as "Upstairs at Erics"
jumpjump | 02/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I find it hard to beleive people knocking this album. I do not see any weakness any of the songs written by Alison Moyet. Songs like "Sweet Thing" and "And On" are awesome. This album I'd say is a bit more moody and deep that Upstairs At Erics. I guess that spoils the mood for people who just want a dance album. The political and social messages of this album are strong and brillant... Examples are "Mr. Blue", "Unmarked", and "State Farm." A moody, poetic, brillant and charming synth album. The strenght of both their albums has made Yaz one of my favorite bands."