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Album Review

Taking inspiration from artistic movements of the 1920s, as both the title and cover art refer to, Deco captures In the Nursery exploring its elegant approach to sound in new ways while still working from the basic aesthetic drive of the band. The Humberstones are again accompanied by Dolores Marguerite on vocals, though here Q is absent; Christopher Adkin is standing in on snare and percussion, and doing a generally good job of it, as demonstrated by the opening title track, laden with high drama though not as forcefully so as on older songs. Jill Crowther's oboe, meanwhile, is further supplemented by Henrik Linnemann's flutes, further filling out the lush ITN sound in newer ways. "Precedent" serves as a particularly excellent snapshot of the band's work here, with bell-like percussion loops further supplemented by drums, Crowther's oboe, Linnemann's flute, Dolores Marguerite's narration, and the layers of keyboards with dancefloor touches, which are now almost an ITN trademark, right down to the grand orchestral break. In contrast to Anatomy of a Poet, which had quite a forceful, dramatic presentation, Deco takes a much subtler turn, but never once loses the passion and depth of feeling that characterize their best music. The marvelous "Mallarmé," Deco's longest track, weaves together its combination of techno bass and sweet orchestrations so well that it's impossible not be caught up, while the following track, "Woman," works in a hip-hop beat below Marguerite's voice and synth string layers that feel perfectly organic. Other funk loops pop up throughout the album, notably on "Mandra," where Adkin's snare drumming fits in perfectly under a particularly full arrangement from the Humberstones. Yet again, ITN create a wonderful triumph. An interesting side note: a number of tracks from Deco were licensed for the TV series La Femme Nikita, helping the band to win yet more fans in America.


Formed: 1981 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Formed in Sheffield, England by brothers Klive and Nigel Humberstone in 1981, In the Nursery explored a strange fusion of industrialized military rhythms and classical and film soundtrack music. Devoted more to the former in their early years, the band debuted in 1983 with the mini-album When Cherished Dreams Come True, also contributing to several compilations over the next two years. After the 1985 Temper EP, the group's initial lineup had evaporated, leaving only the Humberstone brothers to record...
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Deco, In the Nursery
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