374 of 1001 Albums: 808 State’s Ninety

If you’re looking for a band that exploded the house music scene then look no further than 808 State. While the genre originated in Chicago, this British band pioneered it in England. It’s really difficult to describe what house music is outside of electronic though. It was my first run in with the band, and even the genre though.

History: This album was mainly a hit in the U.K. and topped the charts over seas on the Top 40 with “Pacific State”. The U.S. had a slightly different release of the album with some song changes made. The reviews have been positive for the album, and the band is labeled with pioneering the genre further. The album is appropriately named ninety, and it was released the year before the 90’s were to hit in 1989.


Vocals: There isn’t too much of any vocals on the album, and any vocals might be what you might expect from the band anyways. There are few vocals though, and I believe they do match the vibe of the album. I think the root of my problem though is that this music isn’t generally anything I would listen to in the first place, and even one of the best in the genre didn’t convert me.

Instruments: So to get an idea of what the beats in this song would have been generated by it is actually interesting, you have drum machines, hi-hat cymbals, and a synthesized bass line. That definitely broadens my music vocabulary. I think the bigger the fan of electronic music though the more you can appreciate this style of house music.  It’s one of those albums that would have to hit you while you are in a dance mood, and if you don’t have those then I guess you’re out of luck.

Recording: I think the quality of the music stands the test of time. It definitely has the 80’s flare to the sound, but it is one that is well done enough, probably remastered, that is sounds just as good alongside other music that now inhabits this genre. Mostly, it might be more for people who like fun, well done, 80’s music. What I do like in comparison to a lot of modern music in this style is that you can prominently hear the instruments they are using, and don’t get lost in trying to make it too dance.

I can appreciate what the album, Ninety, did for music, but I’m already pretty scarce on my listening rounds of electronic, and house is definitely one that I don’t take up to hear too often. Honestly, this album has gotten me more curious about it, and it did provide a nice step in my day, but it didn’t stick around with me after I was done listening.

Rating 4 of 10.

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