Quarter Life Crisis: I'm Only Human

Monday, September 19, 2011

I turn 25 this year and resting in a the comfortable grey area of a 'quarter life crisis'. To celebrate, for the next few weeks of September, I'm recapping some of my favorite albums and singles that are turning the big 2-5 along with me...

When New Wave and the Minneapolis Sound met, they fell in love, and then got married. Then along came the baby, and that was "Human" by The Human League.

One thing to note about 1986 was that Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis' popularity increased. Janet Jackson's runaway success with Control had a lot to do with it, but I'd like to throw in that "Human" got them even more mainstream success and respect as producers.

A song to divide the League Lovers thanks to the R&B slant they took on their '86 album, Crash, "Human" is somber soul number that is moody enough to be in the spirit of League's initial sound plan, but follows a melodic quiet storm ideal to where it hit #3 on the R&B charts, as well as hit #1 on the Hot 100. Yes, The Human League had an bucket loads of hits prior to this time ("Love Action (I Believe In Love)", "Fascination", and of course the eternal "Don't You Want Me") that are deemed 'better' by some standards, but "Human" just hits the spot for me at being their very best. It's also one of the best songs that Jam & Lewis has ever produced.

Even though "Human" was a success, it's album, Crash, wasn't. The album could have been so much better than what it was (though I like the single, "Love Is All That Matters" as well). Apparently according to pop legend there were creative disputes going on between the group and Jam & Lewis that hindered the project. Well, at least they all agreed on one thing or we wouldn't have had the gem of "Human".

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