Tuesday, 9 November 2010

OMG OMD




After a successful reunion tour, the classic OMD line up made an LP together- "The History of Modern" - OMD's 11th

Never as popular as Human League, or alternative as Depeche Mode, they straddled pop and pretension equally, but produced a load of great tracks along the way.

Probably best known for chart smash hit Enola Gay, and 90s comeback single Sailing On The Seven Seas, they finallly fizzled out around 1996 when Andy McLuskey took on writing and managing Atomic Kitten - scoring a number one with Whole Again, a track it doesn't take a stretch of the imagination to picture Andy singing on one of his 90s "solo" OMD albums.

Paul Humprey's and the rest of the group quit OMD in 1989, but the 3 albums Andy put out after this are still very good in parts - especially the successful Sugar Tax.

Despite Paul's return, his whispy vocals don't feature like they once did, and it's more 90s OMD than 80s still. No bad thing especially. Plenty of nods to Kraftwerk both in sound, and lyric particularly on stand out track RFWK (clealry an acronym for Kraftwerk's Ralf Florian Wofgang Karl), a song about loving and growing up with a favourite band.

There's at last completion to a track the band started work on in the 80s - Sister Marie Says - a total rip off on Enola Gay's keyboard hook, but fun pop all the same. Current single, and made the Radio2 playlist.

A couple of weak tracks that sound like they were written for one of Andy's several girl-groups (the track Pulse has a pure Sugarbabes chorus) don't detract too much from what is a pretty solid collection of songs. Clearly benefiting from being a band, not just a collection of session musicians supporting Andy McLuskey, there's a more rounded and interesting sound to it all.

I think the album peaked at 24 in the charts, so how long the comeback will last is unsure, but they seem to be successfully touring, so fingers crossed for the future.

With a new Human League album due out very soon, it's a fun time for fans of these 80s electronic legends.

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