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4.3 out of 5 stars13
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 23 September 2009
I've been a fan of Way Out West pretty much since their first self titled album - I even wrote an Amazon review of it! My views haven't changed since that review. This music is gold for those who enjoy electronic music in the vein of Pet Shop Boys, but with a bit more edge and less lyrics.

The only thing I find with this album though, is it is lacking somewhere. There are solid tracks, sure, but the mid section is awash with the same stuff WOW have been doing for years, and this wreaks of laziness, rather than any attempt to move forward and produce something more exciting. There are some attempts to be more retro with some analogue synths - the opening track is a blinder in this respect - but after that it doesn't expand on that.

It's hard to criticise though, as every track is fabulous. I liken that sentiment to other disappointments this year from Pet Shop Boys ("Yes") and Lightning Seeds ("Four Winds"). Absolutely nothing wrong with the songs, but when did these bands lose their creative guts?

4 stars because there's really nothing to criticise here, but lose a star for creative cowardice!

Also, if you order from WOW's website you can download the whole album NOW and have the CD mailed to you on it's October release...and they have some nice deluxe editions available too!
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on 29 October 2009
Personally, I would say this is up there with "Intensify" (one of my favourite albums ever). Whereas Intensify did not instantly grab me as being a favourite album (probably owing to the fact that it was hard to not just stick "The Fall" on repeat), this album is instantly pleasing. The melodies are gorgeous and production is faultless. I have played it numerous times now and enjoy it more with each listen. Jonathan Mendelsohn's vocals are a nice addition. If there were any justice in the world, "Survival" would be a massive hit as it outclasses much of the dross that perpetuates in the charts today. I am confused as to why Amazon are not stocking and actively promoting this wonderful album.

The stand-out tracks for me are: We Love Machine (a slice of euphoria), Only Love (vocal groove which mimics the beat from 80's dance hit "Pump Up the Volume"), "Body Motion" (love the change-up, mid track), "Survival", "Tales of the Rabid Monk" (very funky drum section), "Tierra Del Fuego" (an atmospheric end to the album).

Well done Nick & Jody! Four albums in and not a bad album yet.
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on 11 June 2010
Well this has been a long time coming and as huge WOW fan I have to admit that I'm slightly disappointed. Whilst I think this is a fantastic peice of work, it says much about the high standards set by Way Out West that I don't feel it deserves 5 stars.

Firstly, I should say that this an album that MUST be listened to many, many times. As other reviewers have stated, the tracks all sound very similar on the first few listens and this can give the impression that it's rather dull and lacking in variety. I think there are 2 main reasons for this; the tracks all have that 80s retro electro / synth sound and also, they are all 4/4.

Now, I'm not a fan of this 80s revival in dance music and have tended to steer clear of anything that dips too heavily into that genre but I have to admit that WOW have done a remarkably good job in subtly implementing those retro sounds. The end product is therefore something which is very much a noughties sounding album. Not sure what some of the other reviewers are going on about that We Love Machine sounds dated - 80s retro has been a staple part of dance music in recent years. The production techniques used are very modern though and so in no way would WOW have made something like this 10 years ago. That said, one of the things I dislike about WLM, is the absence of breaks. A change from the monotony of 4/4 would have been a welcome relief and as I've always associated WOW with a smattering of break-beat (plus Nick Warren and Jody Wisternoff in particular, have always thrown breaks tracks into their DJ sets) I'm very dissapointed at the total banishment of anything breaks-related.

Also rather disappointed at the lack of a decent singer, which was a high point of the previous album. I'm not keen on the lyrics on 'Survival' (sounds like that idiot 'Starman' off Pineapple Dance Studios) or the horrible cheesy sampled words on 'Body Motion'. Nevertheless, continued listening does reap rewards and gradually, the keen observer will slowly start to appreciate each track and the distinctive and rather cleverly layered effects that have been lovingly crafted. This is a very polished album that has clearly been slaved over but you have to take the time to appreciate what it has to offer.

What I love about WOW is that they rarely make tracks with a predictable formula. The endings of dance music tracks are often just a repeat of the first half but WOW always seem to keep things fresh and interesting by adding in new sounds towards the end that are often unexpected but a always a joy to discover and that's why I like this album. No track really stands out at all (though if Ultraviolet doesn't immediately make you want to go to a club every time you hear it, then nothing will!) but as a whole, it's intruiging and rewarding.
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on 10 July 2013
WE LOVE MACHINE
Unavoidably, my expectations were high for this album. The first three sit in my CD rack and get listened to regularly, so to say I'd hoped to hear nothing but amazing tracks would be an understatement. Unexpectedly, that wasn't the case. I didn't let this put me off, as WOW tracks a can take several listens before you hear everything, they're progressive - sometimes very subtly so. We Love Machine keeps with WOW's usual high standard of seamless arrangement and high production values, but I didn't get that warm fuzzy feeling from as many tracks as I did when hearing the first three albums for the first time. There are more than a few stand-out tracks, such as Only Love, Future Perfect and Surrender, these tracks proved that the duo can still raise the hairs on my arms.

The album is quite a mixed bag of flavours which of course is typical, it's one of the reasons I was so eager to hear this for the first time. Everything from minimal to epic, from haunting to grooving, from chilled to alive, this is what I love about WOW, and it's all here in the album. Lush vocal hooks, atmosphere, energy; albeit a little restrained in some of the tracks, but this will please those who like a little down tempo. Almost as enjoyable as the previous three, but I guess it wasn't the mind-blower I was hoping for. It seemed to just lack that little extra injection of imagination and feeling that I'd previously heard from WOW, what I think really gave some of their tracks that ability to grab your attention regardless of the vibe it was sending. I had to listen to some tracks more than once to start feeling them. Still, this is sometimes the nature of progressive music. If the previous albums have tickled your fancy I don't recommend that you pass on listening to this, at least twice. This is still the sort of album you would expect from WOW, but interestingly the "third album" for them was actually their fourth. Do not let that put you off, listen to this track with open ears and an open mind, and you will still find it very enjoyable.
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on 25 January 2013
Interesting to read the other comments/assessments.
I approach it as a big WOW fan, to make that clear, and found absolutely nothing to disappoint here. Technically, amazing production values and sound quality. Tracks have a seamless flowing mood and, for me, easily sufficient variety. I simply don't get the comments that they all sound the same. Vocally there are several different styles here, more so than any previous WOW album I think - though more male than female which may jolt with expectation.
Sure there aren't the 'epic' house classics which earlier albums have usually featured, but they have gone for a different, specific, and quite refreshing style/mood, which is surely better than becoming a sad parody of your former greatness....
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"We Love Machine" is going to have to grow on me because it doesn't seem to have the character or distinctiveness of any of the previous three Way Out West albums.

The album it's most similar too is "Way Out West"- largely instrumental, atmospheric, and with more use of vocal samples than on "Intensify". It doesn't have the vocal diversity of "Intensify" nor the half-pop-music feel of "Don't Look Now". It isn't what I was expecting the 4th WOW album to sound like at all.

It's got some stand-out tracks, for sure. "Body Motion" is a lot of fun, "Survival" a strong (but slightly out of place) vocal track, and "Tierra Del Fuego" is a more ambient, filmic album-ender (a bit like "Earth").

It wouldn't sound out of place on the Global Underground record label. That's meant as a compliment, I love GU Records but they do always have a fairly reliable smooth warm house-music feel to them, they rarely ROCK. Some of Way Out West's previous music reaches incredible levels, of euphoria, of emotion and of quality, but nothing on "We Love Machine" seems to match it. It lacks the energy, it's a bit pedestrian.

The album blurb says that Nick and Jody have invested heavily in analogue synthesizers. Unfortunately the net result is that they've made the first dated-sounding Way Out West album. This album sounds like it should have been made *before* they put out "Way Out West".

Surprisingly disappointing. But if it grows on me, I promise I'll come back and edit my review.
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on 16 February 2010
This is another album (like Marco V's Propaganda V2) that was released last year (on download) and finally sees a CD release. On first listen, it all sounds very 'samey'. It doesn't appear as instantly accessible as 'Don't Look Now', nor does it have the energy of 'Intensify' (my least favourite WOW album) or the freshness of 'Way Out West' - however, the more times you play it, the more you get out of it. I've found it great for listening to while travelling.

With repeated plays, this, like their other three albums, begins to grow on you and you can hear the effort they've put into each track. There aren't that many vocals on this album, but the layered drum tracks are still there and because they've used a lot of old synths (and I guess because they're both older!) the overall sound is a lot maturer (not retro, just maturer).

Some people may not like this 'new' WOW sound (a couple of tracks begin like a direct copy of 'Pump Up the Volume' by MARRS, for example) and, as I said, initially most of the tracks do sound the same, but persevere and the rewards become self-evident.
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on 2 October 2009
This is WOW's best album. Musically it's the most competent; thematically it's the most coherent. It builds on the promise of their eponymous debut, and eschews the faintly pretentious vocals that have stained the last two albums. It's a glorious journey through psychedelic house. Moreover, Jody and Nick sound like they're really enjoying themselves. This is especially apparent in the opening three, shamelessly anthemic tracks, culminating with the single "Only Love", which seems to compact the history of house music into the time it takes to make a cup of tea. Then we make way for "Bodymotion", which introduces us to a darker strain that will carry through the remainder of the record, from pure prog pieces like "Ultraviolet" to bonkers dub bangers like "Tales of the Rabid Monks".

Intelligent yet visceral, epic yet pacy, and eminently listenable. This deserves to sell by the truck-load.
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on 4 June 2010
absolutely addictive composition which in my opinion has every aspect one can expect from ''W.O.W'. From jump up and dance to lay back and chill. Amazing album which i will cherish for many years. well done!
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on 20 April 2014
Classic album which I am proud to have in my collection! A must for chilling parties and the long drive home.
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