ALBUM                                 :           HISTORY OF MODERN

ARTIST                                  :           ORCHESTRAL MANOUEVERS IN THE DARK

GENRE                                   :           POP / NEW WAVE/ SYNTH

DATE RELEASED                 :           2010


Orchestral Manouevers In The Dark was an excellent 80’s band until they tried to stay relevant during the time of alternative rock and grunge.  But, the band was not influenced by the current musical flavor and instead remained true to their musical roots which is new wave and synth.  So, how did the band fare during the new millennium?

Watch live performance of “New Babies New Toys” here

It is quite interesting to note that they stay with their own brand of synth music despite the fact that they could have exploited EDM sounds in order to capture new market.  The first track “New Babies; New Toys will make you say “duh”.  The song is quite a disappointment as it really lacks the hooks and melodies that OMD were once noted with. The track “History of Modern (Part 1) has a lively hook and could use ala Diplo structure to make it more club and radio friendly.  The carrier single “If You Want It,” sounds like a filler song in any of their earlier albums.

Watch official video of “If You Want It” here

Part 2 of “History of Modern” may sound dated but it has the right musical structure; talking of songs that soar. The track “Sometimes” is like a remix version of a 50’s song.  The record scratching as musical background will make you long for a return of remix version that were carefully thought; not just a barrage of sounds and beat. Based on sounds alone, you can tell that RFWK is a song about one of their musical influences; KRAFTWERK. And the musical influence stretch to the next song which is “New Holy Ground.”  The piano and synthesizer combination is very Kraftwerk indeed.

Listen to “The Future The Past and Forever here

“The Future, The Past, And Forever After” is a song that sounds like a restructured “Dreaming.”  However, the former is good for dancing while the latter is nearly ballad in terms of musical direction. There is this uncanny feeling that you already heard “Sister Mary Says.” It sounds like “Enola Gay.” “Pulse” is like “White Horse” of Laidback.  In “Green,’ you would presume that the band was either regaining lost glories or just trying to solidify and remind current music fans with their own brand of synth music.

There is nothing great with the last two songs in the album as “Bondage of Fate” is like a reworking of any filler song from one of the band’s earlier recordings. “The Right Side” is a typical OMD song but is comparable with songs they produced during the nineties.

Listen to “Green” here

For loyal fans of OMD, this album is a welcome addition to their collection.  But, it is quite difficult to conclude if this album will gain more listeners for them.  Perhaps, those who are more adventurous in terms of musical preferences, they might consider this as part of their collection.  This album still deserve a 3.5 star rating as OMD remain true to form and did not wander from what they offered on their previous albums.


1 stars = Ignore it

2 stars = risk it

3 stars = borrow or buy it

4 stars = buy it and keep it

5 stars = buy, keep, and treasure it


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