*Happiness Not Included: The Lyrical Smallprint Of Life From Soft Cell

‘Thank god for that’ says Marc Almond on social media, relieved that ‘*Happiness Not Included’ is finally released. He hasn’t been shy in sharing his feelings on Instagram lately, which has provided an intimate insight into the emotions fuelling this new release. Soft Cell have returned after 20 years with something refreshingly personal.

Each song possesses the attitude of a bold protagonist in the final act reflecting on his life through a lens of meaninglessness. Marc has never failed to provoke thoughts or tears. This monotony of existence bounces on through the mechanical ‘Polaroid’ as Marc references his New York liaison with Andy Warhol. Nostalgia is a prevalent theme.

It wouldn’t be a Soft Cell album without a bit of sleazy weirdness, which we receive our dose of in ’Nighthawks’. As I listen to ‘Heart Like Chernobyl’ again, I’m reminded of how brilliant this single is. It perfectly envelopes melancholic perseverance through life and who better to tell the story of this depressing new decade and our guaranteed depressing future than Marc Almond?! (It’s not that depressing really but after listening to Marc for a while, I’m in an excited mood for despairing about everything)

‘The future’s in another lunatic’s hands’- the title track is another excellently written song with such clever lyrics. Dave Ball’s creativity is fresh and evident. He fabricates such chunky rubber beats that reverberate so deeply underneath fun little synth lines. The more chaotic tracks are soothed by mellower ones like ‘Light Sleepers’. Marc’s theatrical narration glides through a sea of soft saxophone in this observant and poetic new tale. Another for the Soft Cell storybook.

The last track, ‘New Eden’, emphasises the same closing-scene feeling of Frank-N-Furter singing ‘I’m Going Home’ as he returns to Transylvania. *Happiness is something the boys should really be proud of. I particularly enjoyed the loneliness of ‘Tranquilliser’. Marc says how no-one rings him anymore… I’d give you a call, Marc!

8 thoughts on “*Happiness Not Included: The Lyrical Smallprint Of Life From Soft Cell

  1. Great review Jess. Some great songs on this album, stand out tracks for me are Happiness Not Included, Happy Happy Happy and Bruises On All My Illusions.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: