Released: January 26
Over three decades after they dominated the global charts with their breakout single, Unbelievable, EMF reunite with original producer, Ralph Jezzard, on ‘The Beauty And The Chaos’.
Following their return to the studio with 2022’s ‘Go Go Sapiens’, the new project sees the band revive their classic sound, fusing infectious grooves with full-throttle guitar and a driving energy that instantly captures the essence of the ‘90s.
There’s a familiarity with lead single, Hello People, which sees the band partnered with Stephen Fry for its single mix. They first met in 1992 and collaborated on Glass Smash Jack for the ‘Cha Cha Cha’ (1995) album, with his involvement in the new tune driving home the band’s longing for unity through music.
“The message of our new song Hello People is about tolerance,” says the band. “Who better, then, to verify the facts and emotions about immigration in the face of a flood of hate speech than the most intellectually rigorous and entertaining brain in the world and our very own National Treasure the great Stephen Fry.”
There’s a sense of the group having one foot in the past throughout; not only are James Atkins’ vocals largely unchanged from the band’s heyday (an impressive feat in itself), but they also celebrate dance pioneers of decades gone by in the climactic middle eight of Reach For The Lasers.
It’s a move not dissimilar to //that// iconic bridge in Madonna’s Vogue and a pop reference one could expect from a songwriter such as Ian Dench, whose sensibilities have served acts such as Beyoncé and Shakira, and seep into the impressive tracklist, be it in the Strut of I’ve Been Down, synth-led The Day The Music Died, or new wave-leaning Stardust, from which the album title derives.
A pair of ballads pale in comparison with the rest of the record, though not enough to detract from the overall quality of an album that reaffirms EMF’s place in the pop landscape and proves, even three decades later, they’re still capable of delivering material to the standard of their classic recordings.