China Crisis, "Black Man Ray"

It's in the low seventies here in NYC, and while it looks like a picture-perfect summer day outside, it's not hot and humid enough to demand that certain punchiness and attitude hot and humid summer days in New York come with. It's crisp, dry, still, and, as a result, it calls for something that is certainly fun, yes, but also trim, polite, and sharp-edged.

China Crisis' Flaunt the Imperfection is exactly what I need. Released in 1985, it is the group' third—and best—album, largely because they bucked the à la mode new wave styles they established with LP1 and LP2 and swerved towards the high-brow and AOR-tinged. If enlisting Steely Dan's Walter Becker didn't telegraph this in and of itself, I'm not sure what would've.