The Lexicon of Love
The wit and rigor of ABC’s first album make it a standard-bearer for the opulent strain of '80s pop known as New Romanticism. Crooning, whispering, or bellowing, Martin Fry is the group's suave center of gravity; Trevor Horn's vivid production on disco-pop numbers like "Poison Arrow" and "The Look of Love, Pt. 1"—full of sparkling keys, slap bass, multitracked background vocals, and digital artifice—only dials up the drama. That unlikely contrast between fastidiousness and heart-on-sleeve abandon yields songs as thrilling as love's first blush.