The classic lineup of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark has been split since 1989. Founding member Andy McCluskey carried on the OMD name for a few more years and three more albums, but they became more or less a forgotten second tier new wave act.
Now McCluskey, Paul Humphreys, Malcolm Holmes and Martin Cooper have sensed the groundswell of synth pop resurgence and decided to reunite for a new album and tour.
You can’t blame them for trying, and really, studio album number 11 isn’t a total miss. In fact, History of Modern has plenty of what made OMD a chart topping success in the 80’s.
The elementary synth sounds and McCluskey’s signature voice are given a modern production sheen that puts them somewhere between latter day Depeche Mode and the Pet Shop Boys on the “is this too gay to like?” continuum.
There are some soulful numbers and dance floor thumpers that may make your wince, but there are moments that make you fondly remember OMD’s place in your childhood soundtrack. For instance, “History Of Modern (part II)”:
And if that doesn’t get you all glassy-eyed nostalgic, how about their one true classic in a fan-made Pretty In Pink video mashup:
Jon Cryer peaked with Ducky.