T’PAU – Pleasure & Pain (2015)
Seems most the new albums by the great Pop acts from the ’80s are destined to fail – the just appeared A-Ha is just plain bad, and the new Duran Duran to be released next Friday, terrible.
However, there’s some light at the end of the tunnel, as after seventeen years British rock&pop wonders T’PAU have released a fresh full length album entitled “Pleasure & Pain“, which proves when you have talent, you still can create delightful music after all those years.
Founded in the mid-Eighties by singer Carol Decker and co-songwriter / guitarist Ronnie Rogers, T’Pau (band name taken from a Vulcan elder of the same name in the sci-fi series Star Trek) had a string of several Top 40 hits in the UK, Europe and the USA, plus Platinum certified albums.
The group’s debut release, Bridge Of Spies, was a scintillating, fulfilling album that could stand toe to toe with Heart’s Bad Animals as being one of the most consummate of their genres, in this case, elaborated Rock&Pop.
Indeed, T’Pau was a vanguard of the late ’80s and early ’90s Pop/Rock British elite.
To mark the 25th anniversary of the formation of the band, Decker and Rogers embarked on a 28-date UK tour during the spring of 2013, and born the idea for a permanent return.
2015 and after extensive songwriting & rehearsal sessions, T’PAU are presenting “Pleasure & Pain”.
I must admit that I miss a little the lush ’80s production, but on the other hand, the album is benefited by the more earthy treatment. T’PAU 2015 is more Rock than Pop.
Having said that, from the first note there’s the distinctive quality & style that you immediately recognize as T’PAU, Carol Decker’s voice is still as strong and perfect as it was in the early years – and if anything, she knows how to use it better now (if improvement was possible).
“Pleasure & Pain”, as a whole, it’s definitely a pleasure, not a pain, comparable to all of their early albums and has some terrific songs throughout. It manages to sound like ’80s T’PAU whilst still sounding relevant today and that is due to the songs and the updated production.
To mention a few of them, “Change Your Mind”, “Last Temptation”, “Misbelieving”, “Nowhere”, “Demolition Man”, “Sammy and Dave” and “I Think About You” are all quality stuff.
There are some musicians, some songwriters that you just want to go on forever, that you believe are untouchable to the ravages of time; I think T’PAU belongs to this category.
“Pleasure & Pain”, whilst immediately accessible, is a real grower of an album which you will keep returning to and enjoying more and more.
Although not packaged in the elaborate fashion their former Top 10 albums may have been, “Pleasure & Pain” is the ultimate example of not being able to judge something by its cover.
It’s a great up-to-date record, with the sound of clashing guitars and smooth synth lines which also evoke memories of T’PAU’s heyday.
If you are a fan of T’PAU already, or just like really well crafted Rock&Pop music to listen to, then “Pleasure & Pain” is more than a worthwhile addition to your collection.
Catch them on tour with Go West & Nik Kershaw right now.
01 – Nowhere
02 – Demolition Man
03 – Sammy And Dave
04 – Last Temptation
05 – Misbelieving
06 – Change Your Mind
07 – Once In A Lifetime
08 – I Think About You
09 – Read My Mind
10 – House Of Love
11 – One Lesson In Love
Carol Decker – vocals
Ronnie Rogers – rhythm guitars
James Ashby – guitar, bass
Kez Gunes – bass
Dave Hattee – drums
Carsten Moss – keayboards
Taj Wyzgowski (ex T’PAU) – guest lead guitar
Dean Howard (ex T’PAU) – guest lead guitar
BUY IT !