A Certain Ratio - Force LP


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Label: Mute

Our Review:

A Certain Ratio is one of the early bands the Manchester post-punk community alongside Joy Division and The Durutti Column who all were at the heart of Factory Records. Taking their name from a Brian Eno lyric, A Certain Ratio crafted a sound that evolved through the bleak references of post-punk into a groove-oriented, funk-pop ensemble by the mid-'80s.

Force (1986) is A Certain Ratio's fifth record and the last they recorded for Factory. On the album, the vocal duties were relegated to various members of the band and occasionally done away with in favor of samples to further emphasize the band's re-engineering as a funk-pop proposition. Dennis Johnson's rhythms simplify his punchy grooves with Jez Kerr keeping basslines connected to the Parliament mothership. The album's more club-oriented tracks focus on these rhythms, including the bouncy "Only Together" and "Mickey Way" (the latter a staple at Manchester's Hacienda club back in the day). A Certain Ratio offered yet another facet to their catalogue in the lush, cocktail infused pop numbers such as "Bootsy" which featured guest vocals from Corinne Drewery who would later achieve UK pop chart success with ACR's Andy Connell in Swing Out Sister.