Is The New OMD Album "English Electric" THE SHIT Or Just Shit?



As much as we're a product of '80s new wave, it's hard for even the most easily-pleased fan to get behind some of the recent releases by bands who used to be cool.  We won't name any names, but what's with all the auto-tune, Human League?

So when we heard that OMD was making another album after the ambitious slight return that was 2011's History Of Modern, we were hopeful, but not expecting anything to write home about.

Several months ago, we heard an advance of their first single, "Metroland", and were pleasantly surprised to see that the duo really had tapped into that same seductive clockwork that had spawned the band's best efforts, Dazzle Ships and Architecture And Morality.

What inspired us most was that the song, clocking in at just a hair over seven-and-a-half minutes, was the best example of thumbing your nose at modern pop convention we've heard in years.  See, OMD used to be about creating metronomic musical landscapes that bristled with the energy of the human heartbeat.  Choruses didn't so much arrive as prove that they'd been there all along.  Thus, by the six minute mark, we realize that we don't want the song to end.

Now that the new album, English Electric, is finally out, we're finally able to say that OMD have made the best album of their career.  Now, that might sound like hyperbole, the proverbial Jann Wenner five-star review of Mick Jagger's "Goddess In The Doorway", but the truth is that this is the first OMD album to be made for both segments of their audience; those who love them for such hits as "If You Leave" and "Enola Gay" and those who are into their more experimental work such as the seminal Dazzle Ships, which took minimalism to an almost Kraftwerkian level.

For the more adventurous OMD fan, there is so much to like about English Electric, from the robotic pulse of "The Future Will Be Silent" to the prophetic mechanical ache of "Kissing The Machine".  Of course, the band can't help picking up where The Pacific Age left off, crafting should-be hits like the bass-driven "Dresden" and the sweeping "Stay With Me".

While far from a perfect album (what's with all the sub-two-minute songs, guys?), the pacing of the album is so impeccable that every nuance of the band's musical palette is allowed to flourish on English Electric, resulting in an album that should please even the most hard-to-please OMD fan.

OUR VERDICT: English Electric is THE SHIT.

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