The Pun­ish­ment Of Lux­ury

Mojo (UK) - - News - Danny Ec­cle­ston

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.

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