3. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – English Electric
When it was announced that OMD was getting the entire band back together, new wave fans everywhere rejoiced. When History of Modern was released in 2010, it was apparent the rejoining was a huge success being a well-balanced album of old and new. For English Electric, they have placed themselves firmly in their past with songs paying equal time to their inspiration, Kraftwerk, their own experimental Dazzle Ships, and their pop concoctions of their heyday. The album begins with one of the four interludes which invoke Dazzle Ships. “Please Remain Seated” along with “The Future Will Be Silent and “Atomic Ranch” are experimentations which would feel at home in the dystopian worlds of “Logan’s Run” and “Blade Runner” while “Helen of Troy” (yes, another Joan of Arc song) and “Dresden” are straight up OMD during their classic period. It’s when they channel Kraftwerk that the band truly shines. “Kissing the Machine” is all robot love and “Our System” seeks the answers of the universe. The songs which mesh Kraftwerk and OMD’s own sense of pop are the strongest. “Metroland” is an epic theme song for a not-entirely-mythical land where “Today is yesterday every day” is the slogan. It’s “Night Café” which combines the two perfectly. Here is the sequel to “If You Leave” that nearly matches that song’s magical spell. He’s been abandoned, but what is left behind is a hopeful melancholy. It’s the same feeling English Electric leaves: a feeling of nostalgia for the past, but hopeful for the future.
Favorite songs: “Metroland” | “Night Café” | “The Future Will Be Silent” | “Dresden”