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*Happiness Not Included Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critic Reviews What's this?

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  • Summary: The first full-length studio release in 20 years for British synth-pop duo Soft Cell features a song collaboration with the Pet Shop Boys.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Mojo
    May 18, 2022
    Here, Marc Almond's slightly-too sharp voice and Dave Ball's compendium of antique synth tricks are once again a perfect pop match. [Jul 2022, p.93]
  2. 80
    Four decades into their career, Soft Cell have rarely sounded more current.
  3. Uncut
    May 4, 2022
    While these dozen faithfully and fabulously Soft Cell-ish songs do not stint on paranoid foreboding, they are buoyed by an undimmed pop instinct and Almond’s waspish wit. [Apr 2022, p.35]
  4. May 6, 2022
    Soft Cell return with an album that makes the very best of their vantage point as synth-pop elders with an eye on the future. *Happiness Not Included cleverly compares the 80s promises of a future straight out of science-fiction (“rocket ships and monorails, electricity that never fails”) with how things have actually turned out.
  5. Under The Radar
    May 4, 2022
    While not quite in the same bracket as the ground breaking Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, *Happiness Not Included provides a welcome - if mature - diversion to the horrors and evils that surround us. [Dec 2021 - Feb 2022, p.154]
  6. 70
    Comparing Happiness Not Included to their previous material is futile and mildly ridiculous, that push-pull of pop success, art-school background, and the resulting imposter syndrome which comes when all they wanted to be was a Throbbing Gristle you could dance to is a demon they’ve spent decades trying to escape from, whilst also courting, that unease creating the tension which is evident in all their output, including here.
  7. May 4, 2022
    They’ve had their day doing one thing, they now need to do another, and while further albums are even less likely than this one, Happiness Not Included feels like something of a missed opportunity.

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  2. Mixed: 0 out of
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