Rolling Stone May 1983
Have these people been vacationing or what? Nearly two years after the British release of their ravishing synth-pop album Dare, the Human League has finally unleashed a follow up – and it’s an EP, containing two singles previously released in England, one B side and one dub-style “improvisation” on the title tune that cost-conscious consumers will recognize as 6:12 of pure filler. But wait: the lead track, “(Keep Feeling) Fascination” (the League’s latest single), is a hit. It starts off with a bright flourish of synthesized brass, brings in a thick, rich funk beat, then piles the brass back on and adds basso vocal interjections that recall Sly Stone. Phil Oakey’s broad, Bowile-like baritone adds an amusing touch to the brigde – which is just as hooky as the chorus – and the song even has an upbeat message of sorts: “Keep feeling fascination/Looking, learning, moving on”.
“Mirror Man”, the band’s first post-Dare English single, is a Motown homage that’s not as immediately grabby as “Fascination”, but it does kick in after a few listens. Of the remaining tracks, “Hard Times” is a simple riff decked out with one of rock’s most venerable bass lines and some razor-sharp synthesizer squeals; the beat-heavy “I Love You Too Much” might almost qualify as late-period psychedelia, had it been recorded with guitars; and the “omprovisation” on “Fascination” is a clever studio montage that almost makes it on sheer danceability. Despite the recent departure of producer Martin Rushent, the man responsible for the League’s lush electrofunk sound, one suspects the band will be ble to maintain its fame on native smarts alone. Let’s hope they prove it on their next record – a full album, please – and let’s hope it arrives soon.
Billboard May 1983
Although they’ve since joined forces with producer Chris Thomas (Pretenders, Elton John), the League’s final sessions with Martin Rushent dovetail handsomely with their work on last year’s U.S. debut set. This mini-album is already presold to dance and new music fans, thanks to the presence of “Mirror Man” and the title hit, which appears in two separate versions here. It’s bouncy, melodic electronic pop from one of the field’s first success stores.
NME July 1990 new
...the League returned to the charts with their goofiest effort yet. For a start there's those he-has-to-be-kidding 'Hey heys', then there's the clod-hopping middle eight. Best (or worst) of all was the sequenced main riff. Were they drunk? Were they taking the piss? A split second out of sync with the backing track, even the tone deaf looked up from their lager when it came on the jukebox and banged the side of their head in disbelief.
Uncut Magazine 2001 new
More titular parentheses. A great League moment, this, with its decaying synth-pop riff and manifesto-like sentiments...