The Human League: “Dare”
Secondhand Vinyl Album
Original Release Date: 1981 A&M Records INC.
My Rating: (5 Stars)
The Things That Dreams Are Made Of
Open Your Heart
The Sound Of The Crowd
Do Or Die
I Am The Law
Love Action (I Believe In Love)
Don’t You Want Me
Picture it, the setting is New York City and the year is 1981. On this particular evening you happen to be one of the many bodies smashed onto the dance floor of a grimy nightclub. With barely enough room to move among the roiling masses you find yourself concerned with getting a cigarette burn on your beloved gold lame’ motorcycle jacket. Not to mention with all the people and strobe lights you find yourself torn between which is more uncomfortable, the temperature of the club while wearing a coat, or your unbroken in black leather stilettos. You’re about to call it a night on dancing and begin to hobble your way to the bar for yet another unnecessary drink, when all of a sudden you hear the lyrics, “You were working as a waitress in a cocktail bar when I met you…” Instantly, you find yourself in a frenzy to join the rest of the floor. It no longer matters how much your feet hurt. You could care less how badly the crowd reeks of sweat, booze, and cigarettes. Nobody’s considering who’s taking who home, and will you be able to find it anyway after this next drink. All that matters is that moment, dancing in a red blinking light, a light much like a heartbeat. You think of this light as the synchronized heartbeat of a crowd coming together over a monumental single by The Human League.
Cheesy as it sounds, that’s how the album, “Dare,” by The Human League makes this blogger feel. From its’ first note a listener can just tell they’re in for something special. The dichotomy created between the pop inspired heavy synths/drum machines, and, often cryptic lyrics make, “Dare,” an album that definitely takes more than one spin on the turntable in order for the average listener to, “get it.” What is easy to immediately understand is the members of, “The Human League,” are definitely no dummies. Despite the fact that songs like, “The Sound Of The Crowd,” and the amazing, “Love Action (I Believe In Love)” are undeniable dance anthems, this blogger believes their lyrics have the potential to drench a listener in thought as well as sweat. Who knew that, “club kids,” could be so complex?
Notable moments on the album include songs like, “Darkness,” where the band takes a short interlude from it’s dance driven beats and focuses on the song’s mysterious introduction. It’s moments like these that make this blogger wonder if The Human League should be a given a little, “shout out,” for participating in early Goth. Of course, this thought is quickly diminished by the inevitable return of danceable pop that is presented during the chorus. It’s this bloggers opinion that instead of categorizing the album, “Dare,” as either club music or Goth one should think of it as its’ own entity entirely. So I present to you, The Human League, creators of Dark Dance, my new favorite genre.
This being said, my favorite songs on the album are certainly the best examples of this new category. Whether it was intended or not, this listener views the songs, “I Am The Law,” and, “Seconds,” as two parts to the same song. On its’ own, “I Am The Law,” stands out as awkward, and even uncomfortable, due to its’ extremely slow tempo. However, when viewed as the slightly Gothic introduction to the absolutely awesome song, “Seconds,” the two transform into an overall epic piece. In the words of The Human League, one song is about keeping the public from, “doing the things that you know they’re dying to do.” At the same time, the yin to this songs’ yang mentions, “it took seconds of your time to take his life.” The album, "Dare," makes it clear that only a band as cerebral as The Human League could take a listener from maxim to murder and make one want to dance to it.