If 2010’s History of Modern saw synth pop pioneers Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys tentatively regain their footing after two decades apart, its follow-up is a much more rounded collection of songs that sits well with their most successful work from the early to mid-1980s.
The influence of Kraftwerk pulses through the machine music of The Future Will Be Silent and Kissing The Machine – itself a reboot of a 1993 collaboration between McCluskey and Karl Bartos. Humphreys’ partner Claudia Brucken, once of Propaganda, adds sultry Teutonic backing vocals.
Metroland is a chiming slow-burner reminiscent of their Architecture & Morality period while Dresden revives the classic bass-heavy sound that drove the likes of Messages and Electricity.
It’s McCluskey’s heartfelt vocal in Helen of Troy though that is perhaps the album’s highlight, jogging memories of the golden era of Joan of Arc and Maid of Orleans.
It’s good to have them back.