- Audio CD (Jan. 21 1998)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Toys Factory
- ASIN: B000007VMV
- Other Editions: Audio CD | LP Record | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Even though "Age of Plastic" was mostly a fun little pop album, it had a subtle sense of sadness floating here and there, and a conceptual unity that "Adventures" doesn't have. But on this album, it sounds like Trevor Horn (essentially the only actual Buggle here, since Geoff Downes only plays on a few tracks) knew that he couldn't really follow up a debut that good, so he decided to just have fun in the studio. This album is much more playful, the lyrics are more surreal, and the production is a lot more... eccentric, I guess is the best word for it.
Highlights? "I Am A Camera" is in my opinion the best Buggles song ever recorded... quiet, distant, slightly melancholy, and just plain beautiful. "On TV" is the apparent attempt at a single, and it's a really fun, bouncy slice of synth-worship. "Inner City" and "Lenny" are a little odd, but they really get in your head after a while. "Vermillion Sands" is worth it just for that totally random synth/big-band section at the end. That's the kind of oddness that I live for.
A few tracks have some lyrical strangeness ("Waiting for the rainbow warrior"?!?), but the music more than makes up for it. If you're new to the Buggles, get "Age of Plastic". If your first thought after finishing that record was that you just wanted more, then you should definitely add this to your collection. I just wish the Buggles hadn't imploded so soon after this record ;_;... Ah well, you can't have everything!
The album packs an interesting punch. The different version of "I am a camera" included here (also appearing as "Into the Lens" from Yes's Drama, same lead vocal) is IMHO by FAR the better version. It's slightly understated and often down like a real sense of loss flows through it, but it lashes out, too. It's certainly one of the standout tracks.
Lenny ("scientific, so scientific... but you were walking on glass"), Inner City ("run... one last train for the inner city run..."), and Adventures in Modern Recording ("so carefully directed for modern mass appeal") are excellent tunes that easily could have appeared on Plastic Age, the Buggles awesome debut showcase. The other tunes are just okay.
I purchased the Japanese issue with the 3 extra bonus tracks (includes a saucier version of "I am a camera," a spicy "Blue Nylon," and a bbq "Fade Away." perhaps these are wholly accurate descriptions, or perhaps I am hungry for chicken wings. more than likely it's both). This CD is NOT complete without these three tracks. They really add to the dynamics of the compilation. The Japanese issues also includes all of the lyrics in Japanese and English. Theres's other material within the booklet, and if could read Japanese, I'd comment on it.
There are fleeting moments of interest to be had on "Adventures." The quirky "On TV" is the closest thing to what a fan of "Plastic Age" would have expected from these two. "I Am a Camera" sounds interesting in that you can play a game of 'which came first' between this version and the song recorded with Yes as "Into The Lens" on "Drama." And the title track has sufficient wallop to make the album open with promise, it's the strongest composition here. (Given Bruce Woolley's credit on the songwriting, it also makes you wonder how far back the song's history went.) Otherwise, it is average 80's new wave synth rock. Get this if you really want to be a completest into the Horn/Downes family tree, otherwise explore at your own risk.