on September 24, 2011
VNV Nation seem to get better and better with each album. 2009's "Of Faith, Power and Glory" was excellent, and this latest album "Automatic" is (in my humble opinion) the best yet, possibly the best EBM album I've heard.
1. On Air - the album opener, as with previous albums, an instrumental, almost ambient with a glorious full piano sound. Seems to get you ready for VNV Nation somehow.
2. Space & Time - a great, bounding synth track, a real celebration. One of VNV's best songs.
3. Resolution - starts with a long synth chord, almost like a Brian Eno track, then the beat kicks in and another, really positive, uplifting song.
4. Control - an absolutely superb, massive song, and now my favourite VNV Nation track. Great aggressive vocal, distorted synth, all well produced into the mix so it's all separated perfectly. Plays very well loud.
5. Goodbye 20th Century - An instrumental track, starts with a TV/Radio voice and a slow, string effect, almost classical movement, no beat, but a beautiful break in the middle of the album.
6. Streamline - Starts immediately with a solid 134bpm beat, synth and vocal open up to an almost Giorgio Moroder "I feel love" style song.
7. Gratitude - 10 or 20 seconds of opener, then thumping beat, and great lyrics. Another VNV Nation classic - lovely sing-along chorus, multiple synth tracks, nicely mixed.
8. Nova - A real lighters in the stadium track, starts with vocal and synth, for a full minute, then a big bass drum and bassline kick in with "Shine, shine your light on me". Definitely one of the best tracks on the album, very anthemic.
9. Photon - Another instrumental, longer at 6 minutes, lovely opening for a minute, then huge sounding drums make this one of the best instrumentals they've done.
10. Radio - 7.47 of repeated synth chord, with almost poetic vocal, and the drum kicking in after nearly 3 minutes with "Broadcasting live around the world, on the air in every land, on every frequency." A fabulous way to close the album, and probably the way VNV Nation will finish live sets from now on. A close second to "Control" for me.
All in all the album is really uplifting, much more positive than a lot of EBM music, and if you're a fan of and previous VNV Nation albums (or "And One", "Assemblage 23", "Covenant", etc) or electronic music in general, then you will love this album.
And if you like to run to music (especially 140bpm) this is a great album for that!