Yes, at their worst China Crisis can sound like Level 42 -- just a couple of nice English guys who make vaguely pleasing generic pap. But at their best, they marry keen pop instincts to Blue Nile and Talk Talk style experimentation. Oddly enough, much of their work holds up surprisingly well, showing a strong Steely Dan and Burt Bacharach influence. This mix of sweet music and sour emotion is currently being claimed by Indie acts, so it turns out that China Crisis were ahead of the game -- listen to Jim O'Rourke's Eureka (1999) and compare. Avoid their hit albums for the more rewarding Dairy of a Hollow Horse (1989) and Warped By Success (1994).