Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
Puzzling mix of past and present
on 16 June 2013
Was looking forward to this album after the excellent History of Modern but so far it has failed to warrant repeated listenings. Has the band been listening to it's hardcore fanbase too much? OMD fans are a curious bunch with a never-ending weary desire for the band to live in the past and return to the A & M era. Much like those fat, bald, 50-something Gary Numan fans who still wear eyeliner to gigs and wish it was 1979-81, bemoaning that each new release does not sound like The Pleasure Principle.
Whereas History of Modern tried (mostly successfully) to at least aim for the 21st century this latest offering awkwardly finds it's inspiration from 30 years ago. It 's not a bad record and fine for the extremist fan, but offers little to entice those who wish to move with the times.
The intro with plinking synths and Dazzle Ships narrative does not bode well but soon leads into the strongest track on the album, lead single Metroland, with some nifty Kraftwerk-style keyboards and soothing vocals.
Night Cafe is a pleasant tune but nothing much more to say.
The Future Will Be Silent is a soundscape of more plinking synths and electronic narrative in the style of Kraftwerk but no worse for it. Quite catchy once it gets goings
Helen of Troy....b side fodder with dreary keyboards and wailing vocals.
Our System starts has a slow thumping synth beat and some anguished vocals that lead into some eerie choral loops and finish with some crashing drums. A slow burner and a good track.
Thereafter it all gets somewhat déjà vu with one-size-fits-all tracks sounding like rejects from the Liberator and Universal albums that have been dusted off for some cosmetic updating with the retro brush. And some more tiresome Dazzle Ships-style jumbled electronic narrative of course.
No doubt this synopsis will have true OMD fans ripping off their woolly, hand knitted tank-tops in fury and banging their pints of real ale down in disgust but - sorry - the band can do better.