Upon hearing Kajagoogoo's biggest hit, "Too Shy," a person could easily dismiss them as another trendy 80's band in the fashion of peers like Duran Duran, ABC, and A Flock of Seagulls. You would be wrong, though, because the group may have been outrageous--for those times--in the looks department and had the overratedly cute frontman Limahl who I never particularly felt attracted to, they had good pop sensibilities in their new wave song structures and also displayed a knack for leaning toward contemporary jazz. Say what you will, Nick Beggs is a very good bass player, Limahl's relaxed and often quirky vocals bear a faint resemblance to Boz Scaggs, and Stuart Neale's keyboards really bring home the jazzy aspect of the group. Jez Strode is a competent drummer and Steve Askew has some great, funky riffs that gell with and enhance the other players. Simply put, Kajagoogoo was an underrated band who showed promise on White Feathers, and most Americans didn't stay around long enough to pick up their sophomore album, Islands, which is unbelievably great.
While WF is not my favorite Kajagoogoo album, it boasts great tracks aplenty and, if they sound a bit like Duran Duran, it's only because the album was produced by D2 keyboardist Nick Rhodes and their favorite producer Colin Thurston.
Best songs include "Too Shy" (but of course), but mostly because I love Stuart Neale's keyboards and Steve Askew's rhhthm guitar more than anything.
--"White Feathers" with its synth drum track and some really good guitar riffs.
--"Lies and Promises" is silly fun, and my niece always used to get the lyrics wrong ("Are your lies as good as your brother says?" LOL).
--"Kajagoogoo (Instrumental)" which is good, funky new wave/jazz and blues.
--"Ooh To Be Ah" is a great song about fashion and very dated sounding, but I love it for that very reason.
--"Ergonomics" has a great chorus: "All across the land it's made for the hand."
--"Hang on Now" is by far the best song on WF. It is a beautiful song brimming with sophistication and AC savvy. This song should have been a bigger Stateside hit than it ended up being.
I think that "Magical Man," "Frayo" (which I've never liked) and most of the bonus tracks outside of the extended versions of the original album tracks are throwaways, but "Take Another View" in all its pure new wave quirkiness has won me over after about 6 to 10 plays. This is a great cd version of the album some of us bought back in 1983, but it's too bad more people didn't give the band a chance after they dumped Limahl. The followup is 20 times better! However, if you're simply revisiting your past, this is a good buy, and I recommend it highly.