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History of Modern

4.2 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 28, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

One of the reasons Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark have called their brand new album,their eleventh,'History of Modern' is because they are acutely aware of what it is they're doing with this release. On paper, this is the UK synth-pop pioneers' first new material since 1996, but in spirit,it has more in common with the group's early '80s heyday when their hits lit up the charts and set the agenda for a bold new movement in British electronic music. Fast forward 30 years to the reunited OMD of 2010 and it's clear that that sense of mischief and youthful idealism still fuels the group.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. New Babies: New Toys
  2. If You Want It
  3. History of Modern (Part I)
  4. History of Modern (Part II)
  5. Sometimes
  6. Rfwk
  7. New Holy Ground
  8. The Future
  9. Sister Marie Says
  10. Pulse
  11. Green
  12. Bondage of Fate
  13. The Right Side


Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 28, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: BRIGHT ANTENNA
  • ASIN: B003Y7L5W8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,785 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
There's been a recent resurge of electronic music in the past few years and though it's stayed mostly in UK/Europe and hasn't crossed the pond to the states yet, hopefully with this, the first OMD album in 14 years, that will quickly change! 14 years is a long time but founding members Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys have found a way to bridge the gap of time and produce what could arguably be called one of their best albums of their career. Offering a hybrid of new and old sounds, this gem is likely to not only please the long-standing fans but grab a whole new generation who, perhaps unknowingly, have been listening to OMD through influence in bands such as The Killers and LCD Soundsystem.

Opener NEW BABIES: NEW TOYS comes rearing out of the gate with a 'take that' attitude. It's edgier than what many think or remember OMD sounding but easily fits into todays mainstream with its bombastic bass, distorted vocals and heavy, head-bopping beats. It's followed by IF YOU WANT IT, a song written originally by Mr. M. for one of his past girl bands. Filled with a catchy chorus and choral "aws" it works, much in thanks to the retention of his valuable vocal quality at the ripe YOUNG age of 51!

HoM PART 1 and 2 are definitely OMD in their "pop hits" area and PART 1 is, in my opinion, OMD at their best. Mr. H.s synths, earlier described as 'call and reply' play well with Mr. M.s addicting melody, laced with lovely harmonies. I challenge anyone to try sitting still for this one!

SOMETIMES is a slower, groovy number with additional vocal samples by Jennifer John to help get across the message of despondent love, while RFWK is one of a couple Kraftwerk-ish songs but rightfully so since it's a tribute to the band and their influences on both Mr. M. and Mr. H.
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Format: Audio CD
When I first heard OMD was releasing a new album I was excited, as I'd been happy with the past few albums under the guidance of Andy McCluskey - knowing I'd rather have a solo OMD than no OMD. When I heard this new album was going to include all four original members, I was ecstatic.

What they've achieved with History of Modern is not only a wink to their past, but a foothold into their future. Saying this is their best album in a few decades is accurate in the way that "Yes" was the best album in a few decades for the Pet Shop Boys. It's a return to form. It's a collective example of how a band can use the sounds they've created over the years and breathe new life into them. It's a difficult task for most bands and could have been an uphill battle, but for History of Modern it sounds easy. It sounds natural.

Songs like "HOM Part 1", "The Right Side" and "New Babies : New Toys" are absolutely euphoric and beyond anything I'd dreamed imaginable. Others such as "HOM Part 2", "Sometimes" and "If You Want It" are songs that any other band would kill to have in their arsenal of music. Catchy and unforgettable, the songs on HOM are also the best produced I've ever heard from OMD - the production is flawless. No rush job here.

With that, I'd say 60% of HOM is outstanding. Pristine pop with one foot planted firmly in the electronic maturity of it all. Another four or so songs are amazingly well crafted and break up the ear candy just enough to let your feet relax and appreciate the depth that this album has to offer. There are a couple tracks that are slow growers, but hey, that's the truth with almost every album - but having a 13-track album of this quality from OMD in 2010? Unheard of, until now. No complaints.
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Format: Audio CD
Way back in the 80s whenever I bought a new album, I'd play it to death and drive everyone insane I'd play it so much. I haven't done that in many a year......until now! If I could give this 10 stars, I would. I just LOVE this album. From the stunning, stunning ballad "Green" which sends shivers down my spine every time I hear it, and the beautiful "Bondage of Fate" to tracks like "Pulse" (the adult nature of which, I have to admit, was a bit of a shock at first!) with its infectious beat. I've been a fan of OMD for over 30 years and I've always loved their instrumentation, and this is no exception, it's superb. I absolutely love every track and just can't decide which one is my favourite. This is OMD doing what they do best, they've gone back to their electronic roots instead of trying to be mainstream. I've only got one tiny, tiny gripe and that's that Paul doesn't do any of the lead vocals at all. But still, this album is BRILLIANT. I've no idea what that BBC reviewer on Amazons UK site was listening to, but he sure wasn't listening to the same album as I did. Well done OMD and welcome back!!
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Format: Audio CD
The day I bought the History of Modern in the music store, I was in the mood for some synthesizers. I am sucker for them, but it took me a while to decide on what to get. I wanted to get something I didn't have. I was afraid of getting OMD's newest album because of fear that it would sound half-hearted, but I was astounded by how good it was.

I have the cd on repeat and even copied it to my Hi-MD minidiscs, my preferred medium in uncompressed pcm. All I have to say about the album is that side one is the smoothest. The second side starts with "The Future, The Past, and Forever After", which I had to get used to, but it segues to the wonderful "Sister Marie Says".

'Pulse' is another one that takes time to digest. It's not for everyone. The rest on side two is great. I love the last three tracks. Of note is that the U.S. release that I have has an extra track 14 "Save Me" with Aretha Franklin. The song does stick out because it doesn't sound like the others with only Aretha Franklin singing, but hey it's Aretha Franklin. How could you not love her. Actually with that bonus track it segues quite well to the first track when on repeat.

With this album I can not believe how they sound. They sound as if no time has passed since their heyday. I needed to take a double take.
I love this album because they are not trying to be modern. The inside sleeve has an interesting lesson on the history of modernism. I love the whole concept.

I find it funny that people of my age in their twenties listen to bands that sound like OMD and call them innovative, fresh, new, modern. But if they listen to the originals like OMD they would call them dated and so 80s. I hate that. OMD is awesome and I highly recommend this album.
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