While Spandau Ballet's first two albums earned them European popularity, their third, TRUE, made them worldwide stars. The idiosyncratic blend of Bowie, funk, New Wave, and electronics that marked their earlier work was traded in for a smoother, much more accessible sound here. One couldn't really accuse the band of selling out, though, as the elegantly soulful ballad sound at the heart of TRUE played a role in their musical inspiration from the beginning (remember, the New Romantics were essentially soul boys, not rockers). The title track, a glistening slow-dance classic, both literally and musically evocative of Marvin Gaye, was an international smash, and made Spandau Ballet a household name. "Lifeline" expands on this aspect of the group's sound, evincing a noticeable Philly Soul influence, and "Communication" is catchy, mid-tempo R&B/pop. Such tracks as "Gold," however, would not have sounded out of place on a Broadway or Vegas stage, foreshadowing the ever more commercial sound Spandau would pursue as the 1980s wore on.
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