Once More

Studio Album by released in 2009

Once More review

Are Spandau Ballet really together again?

One has to be a long-time music lover to quickly recollect what and who Spandau Ballet are. A sensation on the dance stage in the mid eighties, this band vanished as soon as the nineties arrived. Moreover, the relations between the participants of the once popular formation were so bitter that it ended in a courtroom when the musicians failed to share fairly their royalties. At that time, not many would admit the possibility of the reunion of this band. However, the musicians somehow teamed up again to play and pen music. Twenty years after the release of their last studio effort, Spandau Ballet announced their comeback and prepared an album called Once More. We can only suggest hypotheses why they decided to do it. Perhaps, they returned into the show business world as they could not stand longing for the stage atmosphere, shouts of the crowds and other positive sides of music star life. It is also possible that this release is aimed to launch a new period in the band’s creative life. Meanwhile, we have an almost traditional collection of the biggest achievements Spandau Ballet managed to make many years ago, with a couple of newly penned tracks.

Once More: no surprises, same style

The largest part of the Once More material is re-recordings of those songs by Spandau Ballet that are closest to the definition of hits or actually are hits. First of all, these are True, Only When You Leave, and Through The Barricades. The unreleased tracks here are only Once More, and Love Is All. Nevertheless, they are not much different stylistically from the rest of the numbers presented here. Is there nothing new on the album? Well, there is something. Those who are well aware of the band’s legacy will hear that the old compositions sound anew thanks, of course, to the use of the contemporary equipment and slight, although traceable, changes in structure and execution. A good example of a modified song is Cut A Long Story Short. Besides, the majority of the compositions are semi-acoustic, which makes them less ‘electrical’. The voice of the Spandau Ballet frontman, Gary Kemp, by the way, has not become weaker, but it certainly changed its quality, yet remained attractive. These changes are best evidenced by True, and Through The Barricades. Those few innovations also include orchestral arrangements which do not change the general impression from the music, but definitely are easy to hear. However, one can effortlessly conclude that the musicians wanted and succeeded to preserve the specific nature of their music style that was shaped a long time ago.

What path to go?

It is difficult to guess how the fans would have treated the new album by Spandau Ballet if it had contained only unreleased stuff. Looks like the much-anticipated studio effort would have made them much gladder with recently penned songs. This would instantly mean that the musicians are in a good creative shape and eager to move further. But not everything new is better than the old. The members of Spandau Ballet deduced that the long years of the absence would make it hard to catch the right wind of the today music trends. To be on the safe side, they decided to release an album featuring old and tested compositions. After all, who will mostly buy it? The answer is loyal and experienced supporters of the band whose preferences are easy to define. That is why the fresh release from Spandau Ballet is in its essence a restoration of what pleases the lovers of dance music from the distant eighties. Nowadays, you can still find a lot of them; and this automatically grants the album with good sales. This, probably, is what the musicians need now most of all. As soon as they see that their music is still interesting to the audience, they, let us hope, will get down to making new albums with new songs.