Review Summary: Culture Club continued on their ascension to pop stardom.
Culture Club exploded to the pop scene in the early eighties with such hit songs, such as “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?” and “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya”) from their debut “Kissing To Be Clever. With his soulful voice and androgenic look, America was fascinated with Boy George in which skyrocketed him into a brilliant star. Their sophomore effort “Colour By Numbers” released in 1983 was no slump, it far surpassed their debut and went number one in many countries.
It starts off with the hit single and possibly their most famous song they have ever done, “Karma Chameleon”, it is one of their best songs and it is such a great way to start off the album. Karma Chameleon doesn’t provide the most complex musical instrumentation or the most poetic verses, but that’s the charm of Culture Club, they don’t have to. Backed by a unique voice and an interesting arrangement of instruments they make it work. It also doesn’t hurt that this track has a major dancibility factor.
Boy George’s singing is much more soulful than ever, as exemplified in the track, “Black Money” it is much noticed that he was influenced by many soulful singers, the backing female singing voice provides a lovely contrast that works well with George’s lovely singing voice.
Another highlight is the song “Time (Clock Of The Heart)", everything in this track screams perfection. From the soothing singing to the bass driven instrumental approach. It reminds me of 80’s Michael Jackson at times, it is that good. He really puts quite a bit of heart and soul into his lyrics.
Culture Club are very great at utilizing very simple rhythms manipulating them into a seemingly complex ensemble. Even the implantation of a little flute melody in “Church Of The Poison Mind” makes a big difference. It adds to an already diverse taste and pushes it forward to a much fuller sound. One song that is not up to par with the rest is ‘That’s The Way”, in which most of the band is not present, as in the song only features a grand piano and Boy George’s grand voice. Although Boy George is not a bad singer, he shines with all the members of Culture Club which why is very evident why his solo career did not work to the same level of Culture Club.
Overall it is lovely release that will bring the listener an opportunity to dance and sing along. Boy George is at his peak of both talent and popularity, which really shows by the way he sings with such command and heart. He is backed with a band that really has the ability to make his voice shine like no other.