ALBUM TITLE                        :        UNIVERSAL

ARTIST                                   :        OMD

GENRE                                    :        POP

DATE RELEASED                   :        1996


If you think that their productive years ended with the release of their greatest hits album, you better think again as during the nineties, they released several albums and it is time to revisit one of it. Their greatest hits album was a very solid album and contains not only the hits but also essential tracks from Orchestral Manuever in the Dark group. Thus, succeeding album would have to be compared with this record if their latest efforts were up par at least with one song from their greatest hits compilation.  Here is track by track review of their 1996 album; UNIVERSAL.

  • Universal – they group might have felt lots of guilt feelings about the excesses of the eighties thus they make a stand by singing about universal truths in this planet. The music is still basically eighties and the lyrics are trite.
  • Walking On The MilkyWay – this track continued what they preach in the “Universal” track and this time it is more personal in terms of context.
  • The Moon and The Sun- is quite psychedelic in terms of musical treatment.  It has familiar strain of Tears For Fears’ “Sowing The Seeds of Love.
  • The Black Sea – is a boring song and probably a last minute addition just to fill up more songs and fans would get their money’s worth.
  • Very Close To Far Away – since this album was released in the middle of the nineties, it is not surprising that this track sounds like a grunge track or any alternative rock track. In fact, the drum program of this track is quite similar with that of U2’s “Fly.”
  • The Gospel of St Jude – just another “thanks for the forward button” track.
  • That Was Then This Is Now – this sounds like a rearrange “If You Leave” but just a little bit slower in terms of tempo.
  • Too Late – this is the track that you have finally waited in this album that you can say the one that is worthy of inclusion in their greatest or essential compilations.
  • The Boy From The Chemist Is Here To See You – another track that is very OMD. This one is quite danceable and very sixties in termsof musical vibe.
  • If Your Still In Love Me – the violin arrangement will make you want to play Madonna’s “Dear Jessie.” Both this song and that Madonna track somehow share the same chord progression and musical arrangement.
  • New Head – is another filler track.
  • Victory Waltz – the final track in this album is perhaps an unexpected track. The melancholic atmosphere of this record somehow is out of place in this record where some tracks talk about being positive.

With that I rate this record 2.5 stars out of 5 stars.

Ratings Description:

1 star = Ignore it

2 stars= risk it

3 stars = borrow or buy it

4 stars = buy it and keep it

5 = buy, keep, and treasure it



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