27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OMD's great leap forward.
Returning to Architecture and Morality after a 26 year gap is quite an enlightening experience.
By the time this album was released in 1981 OMD were on the way to becoming a regular chart act and this album was in effect the bands great leap forward.With an impressive three U.K. hit singles,it could be argued that Architecture And Morality was merely the latest...
Published on 17 May 2007 by Paul M
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars EARLY OMD
EARLY OMD MATERIAL IS VERY GOOD TO LISTEN TOO.IT HOLDS ITSELF VERY WELL FOR AN EARLY 80S ALBUM..WORTH LISTENING TOO
Published 12 months ago by rene
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4.0 out of 5 stars I remember when.. OMD were called Orchestral Manouvers in the Dark!,
Got this to replace my old original LP!!! Yes I am that old................. Classic then, Classic now - OK its aged but some great songs.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab,
I so love this CD - showing my age but it takes me back to when in 18 - cannt beat a bit of OMD
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful pop architecture,
'Architecture & Morality' is deservedly one of the classic albums of the very early Eighties and for me it is the quintessential OMD-album and the one to get if you like electronic music and have missed out on this band.
Although OMD did not possess the amount of pop sensibility as contemporaries Depeche Mode and (latter) The Human League, 'Architecture & Morality' does have a fine selection of great, almost timeless pop songs: 'Souvenir' is as obvious a single as any and the similar-titled 'Joan of Arc' and 'Joan of Arc (Maid of Orleans)' are both great tunes; the latter turns up regularly on Eighties compilations. As said by another reviewer, 'She's Leaving' should indeed have been a single as it is a marvellous track.
Elsewhere the album is slightly more inaccessible and somewhat reminds me of for instance The Human League's 'Travelogue', although 'Architecture & Morality' is markedly colder sound-wise.
And speaking of sound, not all tracks have aged as well as other albums from the same period, but that can hardly be expected of an album this old.
This is one to get - a collection of electronic music would be incomplete without it.
4.0 out of 5 stars OMD a strong third album,
A good third album from this eighties experimental pop band, and probably recognised as their overall best. More polished than the first two it kicks off with the very experimental and noisey "New Stone Age" showing that they weren't just a pop band. Followed by the very poppy and melodic "She's Leaving" and then the hit "Souvenir" you soon see the band had found comfort in the range of material they were producing. Some of the tracks are long minimalist pieces, especially the title track, while others bop along happily. The bonus tracks are a good selection of b-sides and alternate versions, giving further insight into OMD's experiments, but don't gel together with the rest of the album. They do feel like bonus tracks.
If you've not got into 80s electronic music before, this is a pretty good example of the more accessible side. Team it up with Gary Numan's "Telekon", Nash The Slash "Children Of The Night", Human League's "Dare" or "Travelogue", Cabaret Voltaire "Voice of America" & "Crackdown", and Throbbing Gristle's "20 Jazz Funk Greats" and you would have yourself a good eclectic starting point.
5.0 out of 5 stars Art and chart action,
I got into OMD through their 'Electricity' single, which I played for weeks before pouncing on their debut album, perforated sleeve and all. Though I didn't carry on buying their records, I was always interested in hearing their singles, as they never seemed to repeat themselves. The same is true of their album tracks, as much here as on their debut. The difference is that the debut has the lo-fi charm of a band recording on a budget, whereas, by the time of 'A. and M.', their third effort, they had more resources at their disposal. Even so, they don't play safe.
And how many artists could score three hits with such an uncommercial approach? OMD were unpredictable yet accessible. Among a welter of synth- dominated outfits, they thrived despite not wanting to be seen. There were no attention-seeking haircuts and they didn't write about themselves. No tales of teenage angst, instead an oblique, misty love song ('Souvenir') and two songs about a long dead historical heroine, all containing odd, long intros.
As for the other tracks, not for OMD the opening track with the irresistible hook, instead some intriguing percussion and guitar that sounds like a demented George Formby ('New Stone Age'). The title track, meanwhile, sounds like the ultimate in blank music, yet makes compelling listening. The bonus tracks add a great deal to this release and fit in with the overall sound. 'Motion And Heart' reveals that the band can swing a bit too. The sleevenotes confirm the band's penchant for a choral quality at the time, giving the album a more ethereal feel. 'Architecture And Morality' is one of the best albums of the 1980s.
5.0 out of 5 stars The OMD album,
An excellent re-release of the classic OMD album. Not only do you get the original album remastered, you get seven bonus tracks some of which appeared as B sides on the original singles releases. What makes this package very special though is the DVD - The main feature is the live concert from the album tour back in 1981 (this was released on VHS many years ago but is no longer available). Also included are two promo videos and a Top of the Pops appearance showcasing the three singles from the album, Souvenir, Joan of Arc and Maid of Orleans. Its interesting to compare this concert with the recently released DVD 'Live Architecture & Morality & More' from the aniversery tour last year.
In Summary, an excellent must have album boosted by the rare bonus tracks and completed with a live performance. A 'must have' and excellent value for money.
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer brilliance,
This review is from: Architecture and Morality (Audio CD)
On this superb synth-pop album melody takes precedence over the beat as OMD takes their tuneful sound into timeless territory on classics like the majestic Joan Of Arc, the wistful Maid Of Orleans, the somber She's Leaving and the powerful New Stone Age.
These great songs are held together by atmospheric ethereal pieces, creating a very cohesive sound sculpture. The use of a live drummer enhances the overall sound, adding a welcome human touch to the album's sometimes bleak and desolate textures. This is definitely their best album and a masterpiece of intelligent and moving synth-pop.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OMD architecture and morality,
This review is from: Architecture And Morality (MP3 Download)
Brought back many memories. The music just gets better! Who needs Simon Cowell and his X factor clones?
13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peak OMD from 1981, with many bonus tracks,
History hasn't been kind to OMD- the frequent geography teacher dancing analogy, the rather bland song they recorded for Pretty in Pink, the horror that was Locomotion, the fact that the band went AWOL leaving Andy McCluskey to become a solo act in all but name (then unleash the horror that was Atomic Kitten!). But from the classic Electricity (released on Factory) to 1983's commercial seppuku that was Dazzleships, OMD were a frequently interesting band. Like many UK bands of the era they had a punk-approach to synthesisers & many of their tracks easily stand up next to acts such as Cabaret Voltaire, Depeche Mode, Heaven17/Human League & Simple Minds. Like many bands, they were using synthesisers earlier and in a more interesting manner than the bands often cited as electronica pioneers- notably Depeche Mode (again!) & Joy Division/New Order. These set of reissues of early OMD, as with Simple Minds'Early Gold compilation should hopefully get people to look again at OMD.
Architecture & Morality was the commercial apex of early OMD, three of their biggest hits are here- the classic synthpop anthem Souvenier (also included is an extended version)& the bizarre hits centred around, of all things, Joan of Arc: the eponymous track & the drum-heavy Maid of Orleans (it's more Carl Dreyer than Otto Preminger, if we can make a film analogy!)She's Leaving is OMD's first step towards the commercial pop that they would become more famous for- eg Secret, If You Leave, Forever Live & Die etc; still, a rather pleasant song regardless. But the rest of the nine-track album is pleasingly weird, even when they did go commercial, OMD still made perverse/experimental tracks like Crush, The Dead Girls & White Trash. Opener The New Stone Age has a strange rhythm with what sounds like chiming banjos here- very much the New Order sound pre-New Order!- god knows what it's about though!
The centrepiece of the album and the most interesting track is Sealand (a nod towards Neu!?)- which has a wonderful ambience and sits well next to tracks such as Burning Bridges by Japan & Kant-Kino by Simple Minds. Georgia sees them move again towards perky synth pop, though with odd subject matter- in line with early hit Enola Gay & later songs like Genetic Engineering. Listening to the title track & closer Beginning and the End, OMD strike you as rather a strange band...which I suppose they were!
The bonus tracks make this budget reissue even more appealing- though owners of 2001's Navigation will be familiar with some of these tracks. There are even formative versions of tracks that would surface on the wonderful Dazzleships- their finest and most misunderstood moment! This reissue of Architecture & Morality should hopefully avert the lame Alan Partridge baiting (well, in light of what Steve Coogan's done since!) & prove that OMD were once a rather original band. There's a thin line between perversion and pop & OMD were yet to stray too far into the latter & away from the former. Both A&M and preceding album Organisation are worth checking out- merely to see where New Order got the sound for several of their tracks later on! (eg All Day Long, Your Silent Face) It still more than stands up alongside other classics of 1981: Dare!, Fourth Drawer Down, Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, Penthouse & Pavement, Red Mecca, Sons&Fascination & Tin Drum. Proof that nostalgia isn't a complete waste of time!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic synth pop from OMD,
One of the first records I ever bought. Re-acquired following a discussion in the pub one night about great albums of our youth; fab tunes...happy days!
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