With 1978's Systems of Romance
left punk behind and single-handedly blue-printed the entire New Romantic movement to come -- well, with a little help from co-producers Conny Planck and Dave Hutchins
. Gone was the brittleness of Ha!-Ha!-Ha!
, replaced by a rich lushness of sound that would define the forthcoming genre. Shifting from the political to the inter-personal, gone too was the overwhelming sense of looming Armageddon, replaced by more generalized (and mundane) feelings of alienation, "Dislocation," and unease. "Quiet Men" is a Lowry painting brought to life, the chorus of "Slow Motion" a swaying field painted by Renoir, "I Can't Stay Long" a Degas ballet, while "Maximum Acceleration" is as lavish in sound as Botticelli was with paint. The rhythms still remained dangerous, however, and Robin Simon
's guitar gives the set a tough edge, but it's the swirling, swooping synths and keyboards that predominate within.