Also from 1978 - and feels like there are more fillers on this than on the excellent first album, 'Japan'. Still, there are some major tracks here that lead me to give it four stars -'Automatic Gun', 'Rhodesia', the title track and 'Suburban Berlin' are all great. Pounding rhythms, tension, wailing guitars, driving bass - coupled to some excellent lyrics and imagery. 'Obscure alternatives' itself is less rocky but still has that tension, the tight instrumentals, coupled to a cynical singing that may not be timeless, but works for me almost thirty years later. This is seriously good music!
'The Tenant' is much more like the later albums - pensive pianos, spaced spare electronics, the feeling of a slow afternoon in the French countryside while everyone is having their siesta... I am not very keen on this stuff, preferring the tight energy of the earlier style. Several other tracks are kind of in-betweenish, but is the fast numbers that have aged well and can still outplay much of the current music.