ABC: Look Good Tonite UK DL 
- Look Good Tonite
It started out not unlike the opening to OMD’s “Pandora’s Pox” with dinky, post-rave “synths” and a similar chord sequence. Then the chord sequence was repeated with some orchestral bombast that felt a little more appropriate for the band in question. Were things going to look up after an inauspicious start? Not judging by the EDM bass line derailing this one from the very beginning. Then the lyric referenced Romeo/Juliet/Montagues/Capulets which is not the first time he’s used that device! [See: “Love Conquers All” from “Abracadabra.” The glockenspiel was a nice touch but it didn’t sit snugly within the arrangement and production which was still too far into the rave zone for my tastes.
Better was the drop where really bombastic string flourishes took center stage. Then the snare hits that followed ramped up in speed for an EDM climax that was absolutely predictable. As soon as I heard that snare I knew what was in store. The lyrics seemed to settle for celebrating the male gaze in a more direct way that the often grandiloquent pen of Martin Fry had ever dared to travel; making me think that this may have been a song he was writing for another to sing at one point or another. This certainly didn’t have the adroit ABC wordplay we’re used to; apart from the part cut and pasted from “Love Conquers All!” Would the Martin Fry we know and love ever have the point of a lyric be “damn, you look good tonight?”
Not being convinced by the EDM production still didn’t prepare me for the shock of the gratuitous dubstep middle eight…??!! In 2020?? That ship has sailed Martin, and your name was never on the prow! This track was ultimately a confused mess that, come to think of it, was not too far off the quality mark of the last ABC DL single that also failed to convince. Well, this was only $1.99 for a new ABC single; an always welcome concept no matter how the delivery turns out. Fry’s performance was the best thing here. Better luck next time. I’m happy to buy to help insure a next time happens. Actually, hearing this did remind me of a GREAT bit of Martin Fry EDM from the early ’naughts.
Sonic Hub was a Ricky Wilde EDM project that had Fry lead Vox on a track that interpolated Gary Numan’s “Cars” into the stew and it worked like a fiend. B-vox were by Angie Brown of Heaven 17 fame. I have played this track to hell and back over the last, uh, 17 years. Fry has never sounded more powerful than on this track! It’s full-bore rock belting over a tech-disco stomper that has the [licensed] “Cars” riff in it. Fry could rightfully could take his place next to Tom Jones after I heard this. Making his cover of “Thunderball” less than ironic and more like manifest destiny. This track showed that EDM and Martin Fry were capable of getting along like a house on fire.
So this one from ABC wasn’t to the standard that all I’ve found on the last three ABC albums since 1997. That’s been just three albums in 23 years, so if this new song is a harbinger of an ABC album in the oven, I hope that we get a more considered production of it further down the pike. That’s something that Fry has done before and I get the feeling that the more time he spends with a song, the better the outcome. Some bands [say, Simple Minds] benefit from working fast, but maybe that’s not the case with Mr. Fry. We all heard how much “Viva Love” improved from it’s 90s incarnation to the song on “The Lexicon of Love II”” so there’s the hope that “Look Good Tonite” could similarly benefit.
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