The Punishment Of Luxury
100%. CD/DL/LP Classic Coke comeback by the group hardly anyone still calls Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark.
Their recent Royal Albert Hall tour de force, showcasing 1983’s Dazzle Ships masterpiece in full, appears to have reconnected the Wirral synth duo with their pre-’84 mojo. So much so that classic OMD tropes are almost overdone on this, their 13th studio album. There’s the familiar nod to futurism – a song named after Christopher Nevinson’s 1915 painting La Mitrailleuse; another for Otto Neurath and Gerd Arntz’s pre-war pictorial language, Isotype – and a panoply of vintage keyboard sounds that make like Crush never happened. Goofy pop craft shows through on One More Time, while their techno-ambivalent sound-art facet returns in the haunting Precision & Decay. If there’s a caveat, it’s that OMD’s culture-critiques used to be more subtle than the title track’s, “It’s ugly now, and it’s getting worse every day.” In fact, the album’s least dogmatic track – the dreamy, birdsong-strewn Ghost Star – cuts deepest.