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Title: 1-2-3-4
Author: Mat Snow
Source: Q
Publish date: June 1990




On the intellectual wing of ZTT’s roster in the mid ‘80s, Dusseldorf’s Propaganda made some fine music in celebration of the mystery and glamour that still lingers beneath Germany’s sleek modernity. They never rivalled Frankie Goes To Hollywood for sales, though, and what with one thing and another the band dissolved, only to be reconstituted with just one original member, Michael Mertens. That today’s singer is Idaho-born Betsy Miller and the rhythm section is former Simple Minds Derek Forbes and Brian MacGhee means that with 1-2-3-4 we get rather less of that sexy Teutonic stomping, and the tasteful international club sound to the fore instead, albeit more shimmery and Euromantic than most. Heaven Give Me Words is the single, similar globe-friendly fare is offered by How Much Love and the delicately melodramatic ballads Only One World and Wound In Love. But with the final track La Carne, La Morte E Il Diavolo, all stops are pulled out on the Fairlight, and this movie-in-sound fades away in a slipstream of melancholy trumpets, femme fatale strings and a ride as powerfully smooth as a Mercedes limousine. ***

Mat Snow