OMD, ‘History of Modern’ (Bright Antenna)

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark’s first album in 14 years–and first in 24 to feature the lineup that recorded the bulk of their hits–meticulously returns to the ostensibly perky sound and pensive sensibility of the Merseyside quartet’s early-to-mid-’80s heyday. Andy McCluskey’s ageless croon still conjures ghosts in the synth-pop machinery, as vintage mellotrons weep quasi-operatic tears. Although the uncharacteristically sexed-up “Pulse” seems tailored for today’s electro-soul vixens, much of the rest flashes back to electronic dance music’s simultaneously hopeful and ominous dawning: “Sister Marie Says” could be “Enola Gayer.”




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