Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark

The Punishment of Luxury

White Noise

Sep 01, 2017 Issue #61 - Grizzly Bear Bookmark and Share

Find It At: AMAZON

OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) have the amazing knack for releasing new music and having it always sound like it can only be OMD. And very good OMD at that. Unconcerned with rewriting their '80s glory, their new records are instead a modern-day continuation of the classic sound begun decades ago. Homages to the major-key melody and railway-synth-movement of Kraftwerk's "Europe Endless" have been prevalent on recent records and The Punishment of Luxury is no exception. These components are all over the album, most notably on "Isotype." But it would be misleading to suggest these songs are Kraftwerk-esque, rather these elements have simply become a part of what OMD does. The album opens with its pulsing title track, a tune so strong they kept the chorus instrumental. Just the right side of overly-tragically-romantic, "One More Time" is a stand-out, with its strange cocktail of almost punky bass throb, light synths, and pure pop lyrics and structure. But it is "Ghost Star" that is the highlight of the record. Six minutes and eighteen seconds long, it weaves its "magic slowly" and makes no apologies for being this grand, knowing it deserves to be so. Andy McCluskey's vocal melody and delivery are gorgeous, as is the main synth line that enters more than halfway through. Fans of their last two albums, 2010's History of Modern and 2013's English Electric, will not be disappointed. (www.omd.uk.com)

Author rating: 6.5/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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