Review Summary: Forever Now, an oft-overlooked piece of new wave perfection, is one of the greatest albums of the early 80s.
'President Gas' is the song that is probably the most famous from this album, being track 1 on the compilation All of This and Nothing, for starters. It's a very good song, too. But usually one can't expect for an entire album to be composed of one stellar track after the other. 'Forever Now' is one of the (relatively) few albums where that is true.
Importantly, it is a pop new wave album. It is full of wonderful sing-along pop hooks; every song is like a single and I find it consistently engaging. The songs are not experimental in structure, but neither are they always predictable. Another reason this is such a solid album is because it is very satisfying to listen to. Each song seems to work well, very nearly expertly designed. It is definitely an upbeat, danceable album as well. In fact, too upbeat it might seem until the second to last track, 'Only You and I', adds that necessary slightly 'on-edge' feeling, and the closing track is a little more downbeat in parts. On further thought 'No Easy Street' is also more downbeat.
This album is very cohesive, yet has a diverse sound, incorporating saxophone and strings among other things. 'Danger' in particular is a quirky track. This album was produced well in my opinion, though I am sure many would beg to differ just on the grounds that it was released in the 80s! I'm a fan of the gated drum sound, but it may not appeal to everyone.
The lyrical content is not among the classics, though nearly every song has a clever line or stanza. There is definitely a political theme throughout the album, particularly on 'President Gas' and 'Forever Now'. That dates the album somewhat, along with most of the Thatcher-era British albums.
When it comes to picking standout tracks...I really can't pick any. This album is incredibly solid, I have to restate. Even trying to pick personal favourites is difficult. Both sides A and B get a little better as they go along, regarding sonic diversity. The album was laid out well and no tracks seem out of place.
I give this album a 4.5 because in order to receive a rating of 5 in my view, the lyrics would have to be more profound and I think it is a little too polished, too cohesive; not enough rough edges to balance the pop perfection of sorts. The tracks are very good but nothing takes your breath away. Though Forever Now is not at all obscure, it seems to be under-appreciated, seeing as at the time of writing this review there are only 8 ratings!