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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
175
4.4 out of 5 stars
Brilliant
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VINE VOICEon 24 December 2014
I'm a fan of Ultravox. I bought Systems Of Romance at the time (I was around 13) and then I bought Vienna and loved them both. I stuck with the band through to "Lament" but found my interest starting to wane a little after that.

The last few years have been pretty exciting for old guys like me as musical heroes from the past such as Ultravox, OMD and Visage have all made comebacks and released new material. The only real disappointment for me was the OMD album, still...

"Brilliant" isn't brilliant, but it is very, very good on the whole. I've had this album for well over two years now and have only just got round to reviewing it, but that's no bad thing. I think you need time to listen to an album to see whether it will become a favourite or a dust gatherer. While, it's not in my favourite albums of all time list of anything, it is an album I find I come back to time and time again.

What I like about this album is that although it's unmistakably Ultravox it doesn't sound anything like any of their other albums. The fantastic "Hearts and Knives" by Visage sounds like stuff from the "The Anvil" era and "English Electric" could be outtakes from "Architecture and Morality", but I don't get that with "Brilliant".

The up-tempo tracks are certainly my favourites on the album, I'm particularly fond of "Rise", "Flow", the title track and, of course "Live". Some of the ballads are a little pompous in places but hey, Ultravox always had a little bit of grandeur and pomposity in their DNA, didn't they?

I really like Midge's vocals on some of the tracks, I'm not sure what he'd done but they sound pretty spooky in places, it hardly sounds like him. Some vocalists lose their voice as they get older and tend the "talk" on their records rather than sing, I'm thinking of some of the vocals on "Hearts and Knives" here, but that certainly isn't a problem with Midge. Throughout the course of the album his voice ranges from china teacup delicate to full throttle stadium blast mode. Fantastic.

Brilliant? It's very good, but not the best of their career, that is still "Vienna" for me in the post-Foxx era. However, this comeback album certainly doesn't disappoint.

As for the item itself. It really is a lovely package, double album on clear vinyl, gatefold sleeve. The good thing too with modern vinyl is that coloured vinyl no longer means hiss, crackles and pops. I would recommend the white vinyl release of Vienna [VINYL] too.

Brilliant(ish)!
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on 31 March 2017
I was a big fan of Ultravox in the 1980s. However I ignored this album at the time of release based upon my experience of comeback albums generally being disappointing. A few months ago I decided to check out "Brilliant" for free on Spotify and was pleasantly surprised. It immediately sounded like classic Ultravox fronted by Midge Ure. After 3 or 4 listens I decided to buy the CD and have been playing it constantly since. Whilst I wouldn't say it is as good as, say, "Rage In Eden", it is still an excellent album. Among many good tracks is track 2 "Flow", which is as good as anything the band have ever recorded in my opinion. I would strongly recommend "Brilliant" to any fan of 1980s Ultravox.
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on 8 May 2017
Excellent return from the classic Ultravox line-up. Some very good songs and performances - especially Rise, Live, Hello. This album has had many plays since I purchased it initially on CD. The double vinyl version is a great acquisition to my collection.
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on 29 May 2012
Incredible but true ULTRAVOX really are back and how good it is to hear them again!! Of course when I heard they were putting a new album together I had doubts they could scale the heights of their heyday but incredibly they really have delivered the goods after what seems a lifetime ago!
Live is the highlight and one of their best songs ever, closely followed by lie and the rousing satellite which begs you to test your speakers to the max! Of course not every track blows you away instantly but if you listen and let them grow you will find that the real Ultravox are back, lets hope they stick around!!
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on 17 October 2014
The reviewers said this did not live up to its title. Another reviewer said it was not as good as the old days. In my humble opinion, both are wrong.

I am playing this alongside earlier material and it stands up extremely well. It has kept the essence of the Ultravox sound, updating it with modern technology. Ure can still belt out the songs and the compositions here are truly fabulous, so well written. Sweeping arrangements, soaring vocals and a great sound.

A deserved 5 stars!
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on 28 May 2012
When Ultravox announced the Rage in Eden Tour it was a godsend for a fan like me who never saw them in the early 80's. When they announced a new studio album with the classic line-up of Ure, Cann, Currie and Cross you either thought they were mad or genius. Their problem was always going to be the problem that their classic albums like Rage in Eden sound as fresh now as they did in 1981.

The new release Brilliant is a mixture of classic Ultravox and new technology. It could easy have been the release after Lament. The release is nothing like U-VOX, there are multi-layered synth and guitar lines. When Warren left Ultravox a lot of the electronic also left but his return brings back the electronic and acoustic drum and drum patterns. Added to the fact that Midge has used more vocal effects since Rage in Eden this is no U-VOX. Take the track `Hello' as the example. The album starts with a great classic Ultravox track, synth, guitar and sequences. It is also great to see Billy has his moment with those legendary synth solos. All in all a great release, however I'm surprised it's not released in a vinyl version.
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on 30 May 2012
Not much excites me these days, but receiving my copy of Brilliant yesterday was like having all my 44 Christmas's in one go !! (I'm an accountant, so that explains things...). I knew this would be good, there is simply no way Midge, Chris (still my favourite bass player of all time), Billy and Warren would let us down. Not only are these an exciting set of new songs that can be by no one else but Ultravox, they remind me of the happiest/most content time of my life and have put a spring back into my step. It is so refreshing to also have the contemporary feel of the 21st Century on this album, but what would expect from the guys that made synthsizers cool when Punk still ruled and have the latest synth technology at their fingertips. Listen out for Midge's guitar riffs, Chris's throbbing bass, Billy's violin and Warren's precise drums - they all still have their individuality on this Brilliant disc. Will be having a 'virtual' cider with "Fifteen Again" tonight to celebrate. Thanks Ultravox, you really do have an Extreme Voice !!
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on 30 May 2012
At 43 I never thought for one moment that i'd be writing a review of a brand new Ultravox album. Yes i worshipped them in the 80's, however, i will try and give an objective review.
I have to say that this album was not an instant hit with me. It's very moody, lush and atmospheric, a headphones, lights off and close eyes album. Billie Currie really does fly on this. The album will grow on you and continue to do so.
The best track for me is 'Lie'. Brilliant continues on from Revelation in 1993 and Ingenuity in 1994, both later to be released as a two disc version under the title 'The New Frontier'. Anyone who hasn't heard those albums really needs to do so, in order to truely appreciate this release.
In conclusion Brilliant covers every Ultravox album. Ignore the negative reviews, they are not warranted, just buy it :-)))
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on 11 June 2012
Most of the late 70's/early 80's music left me cold as I found it insipid and lack lustre, except for Gary Numan, Depeche Mode and Ultravox.
It was with some excitement that I approached this album from the "classic" line up and after a dozen or so listens I have no hesitation is giving this album a solid 4 star review. I like the mix of the up tempo anthemic songs such as Live, Hello & Lie with the more considered, introspective ones like Remembering, Fall and the superb One. For me the only weak point is the closing track, Contact. Had this song been omitted or placed earlier in the album I may have even given this 5 stars, though that is not to distract from the fact that Ultravox are back and with a very good album. I hope we have not seen the last of Ultravox as a recording band.
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on 30 May 2012
I thought when I met Midge in 1995 on his 'Out Alone' tour that things could not possibly get any better in terms of my Ultravox fanaticism....How wrong was I when they toured Return To Eden and I ran in to the Manchester Apollo like a demented 12 yr old!!! And now... all these years later....My CD arrived on Monday and first listen I thought Mmmm...lots of Midge solo influences here...but then...I listened again and again...It's not quite Rage In Eden or Quartet..But it's not far away...Brilliant is definitely a fantastic addition to the collection, and the single nicely blends with their others! Overall my fave tracks are Live, Rise and Satellite. Now I'm waiting for the 12" Extended Remix of Brilliant which I heard on Soundcloud and it is......BRILLIANT!
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