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Radar: Lost In The Atlantic
Radar - Lost In The Atlantic Album Art

Radar: Lost In The Atlantic

Eighties Synth-Pop Rock
No Score

The story of Radar is one of both promise and tragedy. The genesis of the band came in 1981 with the providential meeting of musicians David West (keyboards, drum programming), Rod Jordan (vocals, bass), and Gary Stevenson (guitars). Early songwriting commenced quickly. But despite being signed to Warner Bros UK, the band's progress got sidetracked, yet with some interesting consequences. Stevenson moved into production and additional songwriting for other bands, eventually propelling UK synth-pop band Go West to musical success. Unfortunately, while the principals continued to write songs for Radar's new album, it never saw the light of a record store. Until now. Via Escape Music, Stephenson and company have gathered their tunes together within Lost In The Atlantic.

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Putting Radar's origins in context of the early Eighties, synth-pop bands were all the rage and on the rise, especially in the UK. Notable hit makers included Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Ultravox, Soft Cell, and Depeche Mode, to name a few. Because synths were so invasive at the time, legend has it that Britain's Musician's Union attempted to squash their use. Frankly, I was never a fan of the genre, and so didn't listen to much synth-pop rock. But I did fancy some Tears For Fears (UK) and Mr. Mister (US) from time to time. Essentially, Radar and its principal players were trying to capitalize on the genre's market success, and who could blame them? Look what happened with glam hair metal bands in the same decade. Everybody wanted to get on board the money machine.

Musically then, and simply, Radar and Lost In The Atlantic is essentially Eighties synth-pop rock deja vu all over again. Characteristically, the arrangements are large and long on synth content and drum programming, strong in bass lines, and sufficient in song melody and vocal harmony. Yet, also notable within the genre, the guitar lines are diminished to mostly rhythmic accompaniment. Honestly, these are all things that caused me to dismiss synth-pop from my mix-tape as a young college grad. Nevertheless, if my ears heard correctly, I may have heard a guitar solo within Goodbye Mr President and Laena. But the most interesting songs were Going Overboard and Lost In The City which included saxophone solos by Mel Collins (King Crimson, Camel, Alan Parsons Project, et al).

While I may not be a fan of the genre, if you enjoy Eighties synth-pop rock, then Radar and their Lost In The Atlantic recordings definitely capture the soundscapes of that legendary period and genre. So get it now; there's only going to be 1,000 copies available.




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The Bottom Line

While I may not be a fan of the genre, if you enjoy Eighties synth-pop rock, then Radar and their Lost In The Atlantic recordings definitely capture the soundscapes of that legendary period and genre. Fans will dig it.

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