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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an album that will stay with you
I've always liked the whole new wave scene, even if I was born a couple years too late to witness it myself. My obsession started around the age of 10, when I bought numerous 80's pop compilations and eventually found the more adventerous post-punkish stuff more interesting.
One thing that so-called "synth pop" had not done with me was connect on a deep...
Published on April 24, 2004 by race_of_doom

versus
0 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Opinion and Taste
OMD is great because they do title albums with creativity like, Architecture & Morality. They also write songs that run from pure pop to experimental noise. Before reviewing this album I did read the earlier reviews and found as usual I agreed with some comments and disagreed with others. I do love "The New Stone Age" song. However I do think OMD fans have to still get...
Published on January 22, 2006 by XraySpex


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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an album that will stay with you, April 24, 2004
This review is from: Architecture & Morality (Audio CD)
I've always liked the whole new wave scene, even if I was born a couple years too late to witness it myself. My obsession started around the age of 10, when I bought numerous 80's pop compilations and eventually found the more adventerous post-punkish stuff more interesting.
One thing that so-called "synth pop" had not done with me was connect on a deep emotional level, besides New Order and some other bands of that nature. I remember distinctly trying to get into Modern English not too long ago. Although I liked most of their "After the Snow" LP, it was never personal. No emotions were exchanged. It sounded good, but I never really felt anything.
I pretty much had lost all hope for this very specific genre after that. I didn't look into any band nor cared to. And then, thanks to some... er... filesharing service, I stumbled upon "The New Stone Age." It immedietely worked for me -- the impressively rough synth noises above the slightly distorted acoustic guitar sounded so violent, so different, so new. And McCluskey's vocals were interesting as well; he shouted each word with this sense of intense anxiety and fear of something of which I have no idea. Especially fetching is the line "oh my God/what have we done this time?"
I finally gave in and bought the newly remastered edition. Unfortunately, I must confess that I did not care for the album as a whole at first. It was pretty slow moving for the most part, and nothing else on the album sounded quite like "The New Stone Age" (which of course stupidly disappointed me). Admidst all of this complaining in my head, a couple of days went by. It was then that I realized that I had listened to the thing about six times. Why would I listen to an album that much if I disliked it so?
I've since come to terms with it and now find it endlessly fascinating. "Souvenir" is my favorite. The music is mysteriously detached and yet highly emotional at the same time (the same could be said for almost the entire album). I still can't get over the part when the main synth line kicks in at the beginning.
Another great one is "Sealand." It's one of those songs that you wouldn't mind going on forever, even if it's already eight minutes long.
Besides the three aforementioned songs, every other song on this wonderful nine song LP is amazing as well. From the beautiful synth stylings of "She's Leaving" to the curiously moving sounds found on the title track, everything simply works.
So, in conclusion: I love this album for how the cover looks, I love this album for how precise and edgily "cold" it sounds, and above all, I love this album for the way it makes me feel. No other album in recent memory has evoked such strong feelings inside.
"Architecture & Morality" is proof that synth-pop actually can have emotion.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have, December 2, 2005
This review is from: Architecture & Morality (Audio CD)
Possibly the best album ever released by OMD, and now remastered, it contains several great bonus tracks. If you buy this album, you need not even waste time or money on Dazzle Ships, because the two best songs from DS are on this album--Romance of the Telescope and Of All the Things We've Made. Reading in the liner notes of the CD is the story of how OMD wanted to forge foreward with their sound on this album, to avoid becoming stagnant or sounding predictable. This album is anything but predictable. The New Stone Age is arguably the best song OMD has ever done, unbelievable and so unlike anything they ever made before. Although I love OMD's two previous efforts just as much as this, I think this was the last truly unparallelled and amazing album OMD ever did, besides Sugar Tax. If you are looking for an album that epitomizes the OMD sound, this is it, and you get the bonus of a few excellent extra tracks, all remastered and sounding better than ever. This is a good place to start for anyone looking to get into OMD. Totally excellent, and to this day, no synth rock band has ever made a masterpiece that comes close to this.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest albums in Electronic Music History, November 1, 2003
By 
"viceman71" (Binghamton, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Architecture & Morality (Audio CD)
Yep...without a doubt. This album is where it's at. Forget all the so-called tags like "synth-pop" or "new wave". This album transcends any classification of the sort. Andy McCluskey & Paul Humphreys were the Lennon & McCartney of Liverpool in the 80's. If the Beatles had ever decided to make a "synth" album (heaven forbid), it probably would've sounded quite similar to this album. I can't say enough about how great this album iz. So I'll keep it brief. Melodies, harmonies, & emotional angst. Pure electronic pop ecstasy. Clearly one of the most influential albums to come out of 1981. And now it's been re-mastered in fully digital glory !!! Best tracks: SHE'S LEAVING, GEORGIA, SEALAND, MAID OF ORLEANS (will move you to tears), and SOUVENIR. What more could you ask for, except maybe for OMD to get off their duffs & get back together. 2004 will mark their 25th Anniversary. If Duran Duran & Echo can do it....OMD sure az hell can. I wish that Andy & Paul could understand the vast positive impact they had on pop music, & also on the lives of so many people. Oh well....enough ranting. You MUST have this album in your collection. Arguably OMD's finest hour. And hopefully, not their last.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the pinnacle of synthesiser pop, March 24, 2003
This review is from: Architecture & Morality (Audio CD)
This is the last of three essential OMD albums, now reissued with a full complement of b-sides so that fans without access to the original vinyl can hear the full fruits of their creativity. This is especially welcome after the patchy b-sides collection that just left one wanting more of the good (eg: early) stuff.
The album itself is a glorious celebration of broken-down string machines, particularly on 'Maid of Orleans'. It's hard to imagine a band sounding more grandiose and more betrayed by their instruments than here. McCluskey's out-of-tune vocals allow him to convey his passions in an appealingly romantic way. Another favourite is the bouncy 'Georgia'. Only 'Sealand' outstays its welcome, but it's such an obvious homage to the krautrock roots of the duo that we can forgive them their excess.
Of the b-sides, the original 'Romance Of The Telescope (unfinished)' is far superior to the version that would show up on 'Dazzle Ships'. 'Sacred Heart' is another wonderful take on the Joan of Arc theme. 'Navigation' is more intriguing than 'Of All The Things We've Made', though it is the latter that would be included on the next album.
Really, this is the pinnacle of synthesiser pop and a wonderful record for any fan of the mellotron.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The sound of a heart breaking, April 2, 2003
This review is from: Architecture & Morality (Audio CD)
Souvenir, She's Leaving and Joan of Arc are absolutely heartbreaking songs. The CD is danceable in places, austere, hymnal, symphonic, spare and synthetic, but with a bass-deep atmosphere.
Did anyone else hear these on a walkman, in the snow, in the winter of 1982? This album is the perfect winter day lonely as heck wallow for people who aren't too close to the edge. If you are close to the edge, listen to something else. This will push you over.
The beats are relentless, the vocals emotive. Another one of those albums for which there was no precedent, and no successor. I can't listen to it without thinking about crying.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent (but in PAL), May 21, 2007
By 
T. Johnson (Reedley, California) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Architecture & Morality (Audio CD)
I have waited a long time for the video portion of this release to be reissued. Since it is a British import, here in the States it won't play in a standard NTSC DVD player. However, it will play on my Mac (probably PC too). It is region free, but in PAL format, so be aware of this when buying. Besides the format issue, I am thrilled it is again available. (I was outbid for the original 'OMD Live at Drury Lane' on Japanese Laserdisc a few years back [it sold for $150+]) If you really like OMD, you probably need this.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of finest albums of the early 1980's, June 16, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Architecture & Morality (Audio CD)
'Architecture and Morality', a heady combination of wistful, graceful pop hooks and beautifully evocative soundscapes, was one the best albums released during the formative years of electronic music.
The album starts with a hesitant acoustic guitar that then charges ahead into heavy, incessant strumming underpinned by a electronic beat. 'The New Stone Age' is a post-nuclear protest song that's followed by the melodic synth-pop of 'She's Leaving' and 'Souvenir' - the latter, one of OMD's most successful releases commercially. 'Sealand' is superb - a quiet, richly-textured piece that's followed by the classic 'Joan of Arc' . The pace slows again with the elegant instrumental title track before perking up with the irrepressible 'Georgia', and the album closes strongly with 'The Beginning and the End'.
Exceptionally well realised, original and atmospheric, this album is probably the best thing OMD ever committed to vinyl. You won't be disappointed with your purchase.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary, September 4, 2002
By 
Kenneth A. Haynes (Dallas, TX United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Architecture & Morality (Audio CD)
I have sought out and collected European electronic music for 20+ years. Running the gamut from Kraftwerk, through the Giorgio Moroder/euro-disco years, up to the present electronica/techno genre(s). Speaking from a long term & well ballanced education of progressive music, OMD's release "Architecture and Morality" comfortably rests within my personal Top 5 All Time Favorites. Furthermore, OMD's follow-up to "Architecture and Morality," ["Dazzle Ships"] also ranks within my Top 5. By todays over-the-top standards, these 2 releases still evoke lovely, pristine atmospheres. Subtlety, sensitivity, and sensibility best describe the genius of this masterwork. Something deep within the strength of "Architecture..." has always made me incredibly evocative. Very simply put: this release is luminous; I can't recommend this (or "Dazzle Ships") enough.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monumental, October 6, 2005
This review is from: Architecture & Morality (Audio CD)
I have just listened to the entire album for the first time, and all I can say (or write, for that matter) is...wow. This is the most emotionally moving series of musical pieces I have ever heard in my life. The strange dichotomy present in New Wave music, passionate lyrics combined with "cold" synthesized compositions, is unified and made whole on this alubm. OMD brings a heavily emotional, almost religious shade to every one of these tracks. The synths are far from cold here--no, they are organic, warm, and lovely. I will need to listen carefully to each of the songs once more, but I can safely state that the impact of this CD will forever ring clear in my mind.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great album., October 29, 2001
This review is from: Architecture & Morality (Audio CD)
Moody, atmospheric, spare, experimental. Quite remote from the lush, confident, romantic urban pop of latter-day OMD.
Still has the vocal passion and melodic charm of the OMD we know and love. It is evident that Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys were very young during the production of this album, as it possesses a certain innocent air to it, and a simplicity of production that is actually quite refreshing, what with the rampant overproduction and sometimes asphixiating overlayering that so many post-1990 albums suffer from.
I really like this album. It has a blend of classics (Maid of Orleans, Joan of Arc) with some ethereal instrumental odyssies and one or two gems that were utterly unknown to me before I bought the album--I am thinking of She's Leaving in particular. Even the one or two childish, carnivalesque songs have moments of beauty.
The synthetic, spare, choral sound that trademarks this album is what you might hear if cathedrals themselves could alight in elegy. OMD's inimitable aural purity and reverence for the cool, sublime spaces of the gothic French cathedral are perhaps most evident on this, their artistic breakthrough.
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Architecture & Morality
Architecture & Morality by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (Audio CD - 2003)
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