Of his first U.S. tour in over 20 years last year, Ivan Doroschuk said he had a blast performing his classic hits. Thus, it is natural that Love in the Age of War would be a virtual throwback to Men Without Hats’ years of early success, with high energy synth tracks reminiscent of Rhythm of Youth and Folk of the 80s (Part III). Back are the raw, upbeat keyboard melodies and bass lines that anchored the MWH signature sound as Doroschuk superbly employs his signature baritone voice, one-beat falsettos and ability to stretch out a one syllable word into several (‘everybody kno-o-ows”).
The lead track, “Devil Comes Round” hits the listener with early new-wave “space age” effects and retro-style pitch bending before Doroschuck’s booming voice comes in, a voice that mellows out a bit for “Head Above Water,” the first single from the album. The latter mixes a more modern pop approach to the classic MWH style. Those cuts are contrasted by the title song, which cunningly switches from the instrumentally raw (similar to the reprise version of “The Great Ones Remember” and “Things in My Life” from Rhythm of Youth) to a chorus that pays homage to the band’s Pop Goes the World and …In the 21st Century albums.
When Romeo Void hit the music scene, new wave fans were captivated by the distinct and forceful voice of lead singer Debora Iyall. Although the band did not stay together for very long, a new craving for their music came from an appearance on VH-1‘s “Reuniting the Bands” television show. Iyall continues to be an in-demand talent in California for live performances and has recently released her latest album, Stay Strong, a collaboration with longtime songwriting partner Peter Dunne.