Andy Bell: Non-Stop

RIYL: Erasure, Hercules and Love Affair, being absolutely freakin’ fabulous

It’s clear after listening to Andy Bell’s latest solo effort Non-Stop that he’s the happy half of the synth-pop duo Erasure. While both Erasure and Bell’s solo material primarily consist of poppy synth-pop melodies with dance floor-friendly beats, the lyrical content of Erasure songs are always melancholy, introspective and down. Maybe Vince Clarke, the other half of the legendary synth-pop duo, likes to bring you down when you get your groove on. Conversely Bell’s solo tunes are, with rare exception, just as happy, upbeat and hopeful as the synth-heavy music that accompanies them. About as down as Bell gets on Non-Stop is “Will You Be There?” where he questions a lover’s reliability. But the tone of the song pretty much assumes that the answer to the titular question is a resounding “yes.” Almost every other track on this stellar solo effort is an excursion into fabulous happiness, climaxing in the brilliant “DHDQ,” which stands for “Debbie Harry Drag Queen.” It’s a track tailor-made to be the theme song for the next season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” It, like just about every other track here, is a sure-fire hit for gay clubs across the world, don’t try to be ‘manly’ and pass them up. ‘Real’ men can listen to dance-pop while sipping on Appletinis too, dammit. Well, they can at least listen to dance-pop. (Mute 2010)

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