Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
1996 album for Virgin by the '80s synthpop balladeers. 12 tracks, including the singles 'Walking On The Milky Way' & 'Universal'. Founding member Andy McCluskey wrote & producedthe entire album. Anne Dudley of Art Of Noise... more »
1996 album for Virgin by the '80s synthpop balladeers. 12 tracks, including the singles 'Walking On The Milky Way' & 'Universal'. Founding member Andy McCluskey wrote & producedthe entire album. Anne Dudley of Art Of Noise guests.
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A redemptive conclusion to the final decade of OMD pop.
Timothy Karlberg | Minneapolis, MN | 01/03/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"OMD didn't create any devastating waves with this final voyage home. There was no buzz about the last CD from Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark when it landed here in the States. No radio attention. No tears wept by the dumbed-down MTV legions. Only the quiet whirring of a handful of CD players loosely scattered around the continent; CD players owned by a few loyal OMD followers who knew this was the last link in a fading chain.Having been moderately unmoved, yet equally devoted to the two previous OMD albums (Liberator and Sugar Tax), I was hoping for a clean diversion from the too-commonplace pop that had seeped into Andy McCluskey's work as of late. What I heard was not the early OMD experimentalization that so many OMD disciples have traditionally called for, and that was fine by me (you can't go back to the way things were). More over, what I heard on Universal was not the poppy, simple melodies with over-instrumentalization that wore thin in recent projects, either. In fact, Universal didn't match up perfectly with any previous OMD CD at all, and that was precisely what I needed to hear.It's easy on the ears, there's no denying that. And the sound is unmistakably OMD's (former OMD founder Paul Humphries even had co-writing credits on two of the songs here: "Very Close to Faraway" and "If You're Still in Love With Me"). But the approach was so stylistically sensitive that even now, in 2004, it makes more sense than half of the filler out there. Furthermore, it's probably the most emotionally genuine album I've ever heard from OMD, including their "roots" days back in the early 80's. "That Was Then" captures McCluskey at his most reflective and sincere ever, his voice harkening back to the vulnerability of Sugar Tax's "Was It Something I Said."This disc is, note for note, the album I would've chosen to honorably conclude the evolution that was OMD's life."
OMD at its best - a superb swan song. They will be missed..
Timothy Karlberg | 02/23/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a long-time fan of OMD and have been distressd at the band's decreased output in the 1990's. Now that Andy McCluskey has said that OMD is no more, it is with great sadness that I realize that "Universal" is their swan song. But what a way to go out. This is a collection of outstanding tunes: some simply beautiful, bordering on mainstream pop-rock, and others with the unique and iconoclastic flair that is typical OMD. "Walking on the Milky Way" and "The Moon and the Stars" are a great one-two punch. Unusual songs that show that McCluskey and his mates went out at the top of their game. It is reported that OMD is no more because of McCluskey disgust with the lack of support from his label, Virgin. Indeed, this lack of support is shown by he fact that "Universal" was never released in the US. There is, apparently, no place for unique and unusual bands these days in the new world of corporate music conglomerates. Too bad... Give this a listen and you will love it and be amazed at Virgin's stupidity. A fine and unique album in all respects, that, lke most OMD stuff, never got the attentio and respect it deserved. OMD will be greatly missed!"
Marooned in Kamiyubetsu | Everywhere! Presently, Hokkaido, Japan | 11/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Universal is one of the two best OMD albums--I can't quite decide whether I prefer the elegant chart-topper Sugar Tax or the kaleidiscopic unsung classic that is Universal... Both albums are beautiful, but where Sugar Tax was commercially successful, Universal was inexplicably not; perhaps it is not such a mystery, however, as rumour has it that Andy McCluskey (co-founder, songwriter, and frontman of OMD; he forged on under the OMD banner more or less as a solo artist from 1988-1996, producing three of OMD's greatest albums: Sugar Tax, Liberator, and Universal) had a wretched recording contract and little corporate support. OMD certaintly never received the mainstream radio or TV airplay that they deserved, at least in North America. This, combined with the steady and supreme vapidity that afflicts much of the international pop-youth culture music audience, has ensured that Universal is an unknown diamond-in-the-rough; a fabulous 12-track studded crown of artistic achievement whose relative obscurity and difficulty to obtain satisfies the effort all the more so. I LOVE THIS ALBUM. I can say that I absolutely love 6 of the 12 tracks, really enjoy at least another three, and like or am impartial to 3. At least 75% of the album is excellent material. It shares, with Sugar Tax, an impeccable and glorious, soaring edge of romantic desperation--if there is one thing that Andy McCluskey/OMD has been good at, it is weaving the keening sound of the wounded lover and souful reminiscer into songs that are at once urban-elegant, romantically impassioned, timelessly poignant, cinematically euphoric, sweetly melancholic, downright groovy and eminently danceable... Though the song-moods on this album are kaleidiscopic, there is a noble, heart-gracing bittersweet that lies below the surface and surfaces full-fledged periodically through the album. When Andy was writing this he was obviously hurting from love. My girlfriend and I broke up just in September and this was the album that most resonated with my spirit at the time--it carried me across the streams of tears that it helped foment, it awakened my heart fully, it sensitized the emotions and reminded me that a beauty can awaken in everything if the temperment is exquisitely tender for it... I really liked this album when I bought it 3 years ago, but now it has become, in a way, an inseparable part of me--reflecting in music some of the most special and intimate moments of my recent existence. If you have imagination and spirit, and any like for passionately-driven, heartfelt music that stylishly blends organic symphonics with excellent synthetics, is heavily dosed with irresistable rhythm and soaring pop melody, and can suit near any mood, from eurodance ebullience to sweeping, elegiac melancholy, BUY UNIVERSAL!"