After reading so many terrible reviews of Loveboat over the past couple of years, I was extremely hesitant to buy the album, but finally figured that it was part of Erasure's history, and deserved a listen.
My initial reaction to the album was a desire to corner Vince and Andy and ask them to tell me, with a straight face, that they actually thought this was a good album to put out. With repeated listens, there are seven songs that are either decent or great, and four that are truly horrible and best forgotten.
The good songs:
Freedom- Perhaps a little naive thematically, but still a good single. The lyrics are kind of esoteric, which isn't a bad thing. I especially love the line, "You've got to believe."
Where in the World- Yes, it's mixed wrong. At least three or four times during the song, you hear feedback! Still, Andy sings it in the lower register of his voice, and lyrically it's quite melancholy, without being sappy.
Alien- A very relaxing, dreamy song, with that addictive "ooh-ah." The sound mix is right, and it's a shame that it wasn't released as a single. The only minor complaint is that at the end of song, you hear a brief reprise of the song, at a very low volume, for more than a couple of seconds! (Hope I explained myself there!)
Here in My Heart- Another would-be single, very uplifting and full of energy. Classic Erasure.
Love is the Rage- I can't bring myself to like the first line, "Woman, if I were your woman...". Gee, Andy, how can you sing that with a straight face? Anyhow, it's a guitar-laden track, again slightly distorted, but very different from most anything else they had done to date.
Catch 22- Sonically, it's a more relaxed version of Here in My Heart.