Blancmange – Wanderlust

Wanderlust is the studio album for Blancmange written by original founder and frontman Neil Arthur, containing 10 tracks in total. Arthur has helmed Blancmange himself since 2011, when co-founder Stephen Luscombe had to bow out for health reasons. Wanderlust  acts as a showcase for Arthur’s mature voice and contains a mature choice of songs for the band.

By Bob Acrey

OpenerDistant Stormis an eclectic opener, which is recognisably Blancmange in style, but with the growing maturity of Neil Arthur’s voice. In Your Room is an extremely catchy number with a memorable and urgent opening beat. I’m still singing it now and think it would make a great single release.

Before listening to I Smashed Your Phone, the mind of this reviewer went back to Neil’s bravura performance at Manchester’s Band on the Wall in March 2018, when he nabbed the mobile phone off someone in the front row who had  spent the early part of the gig just recording the show. He gave it her back and suggested she just enjoyed the show. The smashing of the phone in this song is an act humans have wanted to do since the days of early man and the black obelisk in 2001: A Space Odyssey – the smashing that is!

Gravel Drive Syndrome is a melancholic story about people wanting to succeed at any cost and counting the cost in lost friendships whilst climbing the ladder higher. Talking To Machines captures in its beat the slow, grinding feeling of wanting to speak to humans, and being thwarted in that journey.

Not A Priority has a catchy and insistent chorus that tells you to “Be Yourself”, which would have been a better title for the song as it’s on a par with In Your Room as a potential single release. TV Debate is a guitar and synth voyage through the various images of modern celebrity and political soundbite shows, whereas next track Leaves is a love story, which takes an atmospheric journey through the autumn of a relationship.

White Circle, Black Hole has a superb, urgent opening beat that leads into an upbeat song about starting again, whereas title track Wanderlust is as, the title suggests, about the wanting to be elsewhere, captured amongst feelings of angst.

Overall, Wanderlust is a very enjoyable album that has both up-to-date and retro elements that will be appreciated by Blancmange fans and electro fans everywhere.