Melody Maker 21 January 1984

A Sense Of Belonging (Rough Trade)
Consider this a sobering slap round the face. Consider this a demand for a return to some sanity. Consider this what you will, but it seems to me that as TVP are easily this decade's most consistently moving band and you've probably never even heard of them is a damning indication of the sorry state you've allowed pop to sink into. I mean, what the hell are you lot doing? Listening to the Eurythmics? What the hell are we doing proclaiming "Here Comes The Rain Again" the first great single of '84 while consigning Big Country's magnificent "Wonderland" to the dumper?

Consider this, then, a reassurance that we here at MM haven't all been afflicted by last week's lapse in good taste. Consider this a challenge. People talk about Annie Lennox's voice as an instrument capable of some expression. Come off it! It's a clichéd technique for delivering cliches. Soulful, they call it. Soul. Think about it. Then listen again. Listen to Dan Treacy. This man is embarrassed to be here and he wouldn't be if it weren't perfectly necessary. He can make you feel happy and sad, good and bad at the same time. He can make you feel angry at him for making you feel so guilty. Yet he understands compassion.

He's dying on this record. Dying and only a desperate need to say the things that "A Sense Of Belonging" says has coaxed it into existence. This is no product, no fake. It's a record with a reason to exist. It's a protest song and it says: "And I know you think I'm young and naïve because I go on CND marches. . . "

It's a clarion call for an end to cynicism and a start into action.

"And you often make jokes about what you will do when you hear the four minute warning / And if you think that's funny now / Wait until the bomb goes off and we'll all be in hysterics / You'll see babies dying."

A sense of belonging is clumsy and ugly and brutal and honest and it cuts and hurts and it's beautiful. Listen and cry for shame.
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Thanks to Mark Flunder for providing the source material.
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