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Automatic Import

4.4 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 14, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Anachron UK
  • ASIN: B005HZXUSM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #402,557 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
From the liner notes:

"This album was inspired by and is dedicated to the many, often nameless visionaries, idealists, and designers of the early 20th Century, who saw and gave shape to a future, where design combined beauty, aesthetic and utility, a future that included everyone, but was sadly, a future that was never to be."

I don't know how I can review this album without comparing it to 2002's Futureperfect. Both albums are a bit more melodic than usual for VNV; both feature a hauntingly beautiful, neoclassical track (Liebestod, Goodbye 20th Century); and both feature songs that try to evoke visions of futuristic cities (Airships, Streamline).

So it would be very easy to accuse Automatic of being nothing more than "Futureperfect Revisited." But that comparison is too simplistic.

Futureperfect treats the future as the present: it's about (as I interpret it) already being IN a future that didn't quite turn out as advertised. And so a lot of songs on Futureperfect tend to be about what's wrong with the future, AS PRESENT. "No tears, no sympathy"; "Somehow I'm always falling over me"; "By our blindness and stupidity, we kill everything"; "Did we toil in vain in hope that wisdom came from what we've done"; "Tell me what ritual I should have today"; "Circumstances afford me no second chance to tell you how much I've missed you"; "Now I'm leaving home, leaving everything that I have ever known." Even some of the more anthemic tracks on Futureperfect (Genesis, Airships, Fearless) seem to have a note of hopelessness about them. And yet, Futureperfect somehow ends up being the happier album.

And you wouldn't guess that by strictly scanning the lyrics, or even hearing one of the more anthemic tracks all by itself. For instance, take Streamline.
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Format: MP3 Music
OK, to first address the thesis-length negative review: it is true that VNV hasn't really changed much stylistically since they released Matter + Form. But a pretentious review with overly elaborate metaphors that makes fun of the band members' being fat is ridiculous.

I didn't like everything about this release. While the vocals are good, and Ronan sounds like a much more positive and optimistic man than on previous releases, the music itself seems to be an afterthought. After listening to it straight through, I don't think I could have told one beat apart from another if there weren't any lyrics, with a few exceptions. I think I was disappointed in this album because Ronan claimed that it "may be one of their best".

The final word: if you have been a VNV fan for awhile, like myself, you might as well get this album. It's a good listen. If you're a first-time VNV listener, Judgement or Of Faith, Power and Glory will work just as well.
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Automatic is another incarnation of the style invoked in Matter And Form. After listening to it several times, and going back and listening to Judgment and Of Faith, Power, And Glory, it stands out as having a more distinct personality. It is very upbeat, positive, and above all, clean. Previous albums have had moments of the expected crunchy, aggressive industrial club sounds, a la Combichrist or Wumpscut, and this one has done away with it entirely. This has given people to calling it an 80's style, and there are definitely some Giorgio Moroder arpeggiations, but it doesn't feel very 80s overall. Just clean, very positive VNV. Ronan's vocal production, and the crispness of the keyboards, have never sounded better. The songwriting is decent but not his best. The lyrics are more interesting than most bands in this genre, but not his best either.

If Empires is an album for post-breakup clubby angst, Automatic is hope rekindled on a summer day's drive.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If the world suddenly became perfect (whatever your vision of that is) and all of your favorite heroes took charge and sent every villian to a penal colony on mars, this album is what they'd be playing at the party that night.

Grandeur, Titanic Glory, It should be titled- Exhaltation.

So much of VNV in the past was in my opinion, stitching up the wounds of our souls to keep us going. Fighting thru the darkness alone, towards a distant dim light.

Looking back at my favorite VNV tracks of the past, I realize now that they have been all a kind of prayers that I uttered alone in silence to strengthen me in the the darkest times of my life to find the strength I needed to survive, to find solace. I felt, like so many of us that VNV captured the Zeitgeist of our dark age of this last lost decade (or two or three.) Read the comments on youtube for your favorite track. The music of VNV has been medicine, plain and simple.

But then I remember that the only constant in the universe is change. And all I need to do is look around to see the changes all around us the days (Worldwide political revolutions, OWS, end of Iraq and Afganistan). We are approaching its shores.

Accordingly, it is this new Zeitgeist that Automatic heralds here. their music captures that. Look around us. The glory, the power, the perfect machine of cadence and sound and for the first time...dare I say it? The Sacred Hope, of promise fulfilled, that permeates the album it left me in tears on my first listen struggling to keep my car on the road. (Do not drive on the first listen, I'm warning you. I was choking crying and laughing all with my mouth open in amazement.(email me the name of another album that does that).
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