Monday, May 28, 2012

a mark of vintage brilliance

Today, marks the release of "Brilliant", the first, new Ultravox album by the classic Midge Ure line up in 26 years.

The first single is the title track and it has all the hallmarks of the expansive, cinematic choruses of their biggest hits without sounding like a pastiche.

There are just enough contemporary elements to make it sound current. But it's the chiming piano figure that gives it a similar, elegiac quality of singles like "Dancing With Tears In My Eyes" and Midge Ure's biggest solo hit, "If I Was". My only criticism is that Midge's vocal in the verses sounds a bit disconnected and scratchy as compared to the grand beauty of his delivery in the chorus.

By the sound of the 30 second snippets on their website, it sounds like chunky, galloping basslines and giant swaths of synths are the order of the day. And it makes me realize The Killers have listened to more than their fair share of Ultravox albums in their time.

The tracklisting for "Brilliant" contains the following twelve tracks.

1. Live
2. Flow
3. Brilliant
4. Change
5. Rise
6. Remembering
7. Hello
8. One
9. Fall
10. Lie
11. Satellite
12. Contact

I wonder if there is any significance regarding the use of all single word titles. Suggestions of a cocktail napkin, please.

Ultravox are gearing up for their first tour since they reunited for a few dates back in 2009. Laptops at the ready, gents! Looking forward to seeing them back on the road to support their new longplayer.


  1. The $64,000 Question is… will we see them trekking across America for the first tour since… 1980? I know for a fact that the Fall 1980 "Vienna" tour happened because the band played a date in Tampa, Florida that i didn't have the teenaged means to attend, much to my chagrin…nay - regret! I can't find any data on the web regarding a US "Rage In Eden" tour.

    I remember reading that there was to be a US tour for their highest profile "Quartet" album, but I also read that immediately prior to their trip over, the album fell out of the top 100 and US Chrysalis withdrew support; knifing the nascent tour before it even began here. But longtime reader Echorich assures me that he indeed saw the band in The States at a rather posh arts center not normally associates with the music of coarse proles. I can't find his exact comment on my blog, so I'll leave it to him to elaborate. I can't find any mention of a US "Lament" tour either.

    It just seems like the band always got the short shrift over here. EMI is releasing the album digitally tomorrow, but I'm not holding out much hope for a tour over here. History is way too stacked against it. That doesn't mean that I'd not go into hock if they did manage to scrape up a tour here, though. At the very least they'd probably hit D.C. and though the budget is so tight it squeaks this year, I'd never live with myself if I didn't make any effort needed to partake after 32 years of bitter regret.

    I've pre-ordered the disc from Townsend and await its arrival with no little amount of trepidation. I've sworn off the samples and previews in my normal delayed gratification way to maintain some sense of anticipation, which I fervently hope will be eclipsed by the actual album. Honestly, I've got a sinking feeling that can't be dispersed by their admittedly triumphant live recordings of 2009/10 mainly due to Ure's poor solo career.

  2. Hmmmmm. Perusing writing credits on the page for the new album reveals that writing credits are Currie, Cross, Ure. Looks like Cann was locked out of writing; not a good sign!

  3. Hi hopes for this. Not expecting Rage In Eden 2 but I hope they steer away from the shallow sound of Midge's solo career.