Unfurnished Rooms, Blancmange, Blanc Check Records, Out Now
Neil Arthur (pictured) is back to express his Lancastrian convictions under the cover of 1980s’ band Blancmange and its ninth studio album.
But just like the school dessert whose name the band carries, Unfurnished Rooms will divide opinion with its quirkiness and subtle references, from capitalism to human mobility.
Famous for 1980s hits like Living on the Ceiling, Don’t Tell Me and Blind Vision, Blancmange continues its unique tradition with the spoken word song What’s The Time.
The fourth track on Unfurnished Rooms, Arthur moves back and forth asking questions such as “What’s the best dog you ever had?” before going deeper with the poser “Does the Cross represent anything to you?”
Before that, the album takes a trip back to the New Romantics era with the title track, Unfurnished Rooms, followed by We Are The Chemicals and Share It Out.
However, Arthur then takes a David Bowie turn with Wiping The Chair, Anna Dine and In December, undoubtedly the standout song on the album, with its throwback to more innocent days of “Old England”.
But a word of warning, Blancmange’s new album won’t suit everyone.
Review by Winston Brown