With the self-titled sophomore set to their smash debut album ("Deep sea skiving"), the trio that would eventually become U.K.'s top-selling female group consolidated its place on the charts, while managing to carve themselves a niche in the fickle North American album. And, even more interestingly, they managed to do so with an album that was entertaining, heartfelt and consistent.
The album's best-known tracks are the funky "Cruel summer" (their very first U.S. top 10 hit, eventually covered by Ace of Base), and "Robert de Niro's waiting" (a pop hit whose pretty melody dissimulated the dark, serious matter of a date rape). There were more singles from the album: the moody "Rough justice" and "Hotline to heaven" and the cheerful "State I'm in". And there could have been more : "King of the jungle" is a funky and slick dance track, and "Dream baby" is as catchy as any of the band's pop hits. Still, the best comes last : "Through a child's eye" is one of the band's most beautiful ballads, longing and nostalgic, with an incredible melody and a heartfelt delivery from the girls. Throughout the album, there is a sense of maturity on many of the songs that was absent from its previous recordings - and, some may argue, on most of the band's subsequent work. Many of the songs deal with isolation, abuse of power, addiction and social disorder, and the fact that they co-wrote almost every single track on the album shows how much the girls poured their hearts into the songs.
This remastered edition features six bonus tracks; the most interesting ones are "Push" (which could have been a successful single on its own), "Cairo" (which would be covered in 1986 with altered lyrics by another British female trio, Amazulu), "Live now" and the smash single "The wild life" from the Karate Kid soundtrack. The sound quality is excellent and it's a good deal for fans of the band, many of which have had to pay a high price in the past for this album.