Album #484 – Architecture and Morality

Album #484

Architecture and Morality by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark has been hailed by several critics as one of the best albums ever made. I wouldn’t go that far but, it certainly was a well made album. If the band’s name sounds familiar, OMD went to #1 on the singles chart in 1986 with their song, If You Leave from the movie, Pretty In Pink. But, they were just as influential within the genre of synth pop as New Order and Depeche Mode were. They may be a one-hit wonder in North America, but the history behind the group is just as fascinating as their music. Lead singer Andy McCluskey was never a fan of hard rock and punk. He came up with the name to make the band seem less of a punk band, which they weren’t. Architecture and Morality is actually their third album. Three songs from this album actually made the singles chart in the UK: Souvenir, Joan of Arc and Maid of Orleans. OMD were ahead of their time with many comparing them to the Beatles. I wouldn’t go that far but, certainly their influence is important in 80’s music. The album was dark at times but, McCluskey’s voice stands out and has the emotion required. Another important part of OMD is Paul Humphries. Together, the two wrote most of the group’s songs. The highlight for me was actually the song She’s Leaving. Never released as a single but, it’s a song that strongly captures the synth pop movement to a T. This album will be added to my collection and it is a great reminder of just how underrated OMD are as a synth pop group. They were clearly MUCH more than their one hit in North America. Other highlights include: Sealand (an amazing, mostly instrumental track), Georgia and The Beginning and the End. Overall, I give Architecture and Morality, 5 out of 5.

Next: My Life in the Bush of Ghosts by Brian Eno and David Byrne

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