Peace & Love, Inc.

by: Information Society

After scoring with two Top Ten singles and a platinum debut album in 1988, the Minneapolis-based trio Information Society experienced a severe sophomore slump with its 1990 follow-up, Hack. The album suffered commercially for its lack of a major hit single, and artistically for its unnecessary experimental touches and lack of direction. 1992's Peace and Love, Inc. was a much more straightforward affair, and had the band attempting a more aggressive approach; noisier yet more concise than its predecessor, Peace failed to make an impact on the US charts, yet the album is surprisingly solid. The opening title track shows no trace of the Latin-tinged dance pop of Information Society hits like "What's on Your Mind (Pure Energy)"; Kurt Harland's sardonic vocal style is the only recognizable element of the track. "Peace and Love, Inc." finds Information Society embracing the harsher techno-rave sound that was developing in the early 90's, while keeping the melodic instincts that made the band a pop success story. The new sound suits them well. This is the hardest hitting track on the album, with the rest of the songs being closer in spirit, if not style, to the band's earlier material than the rather jarring title song. "Going Going Gone" is as catchy as anything on the debut, "To Be Free" is an effectively creepy ballad, and "Where Would I Be Without IBM" proves Information Society has not lost its goofy charm. A worthy effort from an underrated group that many have dismissed as pop throwaways, this album may surprise those expecting an album's worth of "What's on Your Mind" rewrites. Their moment in the spotlight was long gone by the time Peace and Love, Inc. was released, but the album is nearly as solid as the immensely popular debut, despite the stylistic differences. Recommended. ~ William Cooper

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