Oct 272023
marc almond love is a battlefield

For the singles from his new ’80s covers project, Trevor Horn has already worked with a future megastar and someone who came to prominence in the ’90s. For the latest, he has chosen to work with a past collaborator and actual icon of the ’80s. “Love Is a Battlefield” is his new track with Marc Almond, who came to prominence with Soft Cell but has expanded his repertoire well beyond those pop roots.

Pat Benatar’s Cri de Guerre is her most covered song, and we picked out some great versions when she entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2022. There are always new entrants to the arena to take up the cudgels.

Understandably, given their vintage, the collaborators do not scream “We are young!” from the start. The pace is much slower, and there is no driving bass providing a martial atmosphere. They are old soldiers in the game of love, not new conscripts eager for the fray. They are familiar with trench warfare and suspect that there are no real winners in a war, except the survivors. There is another battle going on. Throughout his long, successful, career Almond sometimes has had to battle with his emotions and his voice. In the wrong hands, his vocals can teeter on the precipice of overwrought, and get close to sounding melodramatic. But Horn provides a perfect vehicle here. He playfully adds autotuned harmonies near the start, to remind us of how real Almond’s voice is. He then provides a synth-pop mix, familiar ground from Almond, and builds from there, closing with a survey around the damage and detritus of the fight.

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