Modern English “Ricochet Days” 1984. 4 AD Records. Tonight we’re seeing Modern English perform, along with The Alarm and Gene Loves Jezebel: I’m most interested to see Modern English of the three. We saw them a few years ago on an 80′s retro tour (along with artists like Howard Jones, Men Without Hats, English Beat, etc.) and their music held up well, some 35 years later. Ricochet Days is Modern English’s third album (#93 US charts): new wave synth pop at the height of its popularity though Ricochet Days is not nearly as good as their sophomore release After the Snow (1982) with its smash single “Melt With You.” It’s pretty bland with few stand-out tracks. The instrumentation and melody of “Spinning Me Round” is pleasant but not particularly memorable and “Blue Waves” teases the same flavor as “Melt With You” but is either too close to its melody or is missing that certain je ne sais quoi that made “Melt With You” a hit. The single “Hands Across the Sea,” which went to #91 in the US, is definitely one of the better songs on the record but I really only like about half the song – the chorus – the rest is a bit too Spandau Ballet-smooth for my tastes. The closing track, “Chapter 12,” is also decent and the most danceable on the LP with a pretty good synthpop riff that recalls early Depeche Mode.