Author: Paul Mathur / Source: Melody Maker / Published: 1985
Having been smitten by Propaganda live at the recent ZTT bash, the LP come as a mere formality, confirming what I’d suspected all along, that the group have few serious competitors in the business of making pop. The album seems to have been postponed fortnightly since I was a child, but now it’s finally out and thankfully lives up to its promise. Opening with ‘Dream Within A Dream’, featuring the vocals of angelic Susanne Freytag, it twists sixties kitsch towards eighties sophistication. The quietest of beginnings, catching you off guard for the noises ahead. ‘Dr. Mabuse’ and ‘Duel’ will already be familiar to you unless you’ve been living with your head in a bucket for the past couple of years. Suffice to say that the former is the best satanic Abba record ever released, but the latter a deceptively lush contemporary love song. Unknown pleasures will come from ‘p-Machinery’, tentatively the next single, and ‘Sorry For Laughing’. The Josef K smash that never was is jiggled and squeezed through Claudia’s teutonic intonation. They all smile and you know things are going to be alright after all. The sleeve is grey, the photography sublime, the words as funny/serious as ever. Claudia’s dress is made of wire and nothing more. Propaganda as the perfect post punk pop group? Very, very easily.