After 26 years of silence Ultravox, the pioneers of electronic music in history,along with Kraftwerk and Gary Numan on their way, came back with a sparkling brand new album last Monday the 28TH. The reviewers around the world, those who are committed to baptize or destroy an artist at the beginning, had to give their opinion to the masses. The masses is also me, who was waiting for the album, because I’m not into music journalism, I usually take care of domestic politics and Wikileaks, but I’m a musician as well so when the heart calls…. In this day I’m writing, Julian Assange has been extradited to Sweden. This means the truth burns and has to be suffocated with all means if necessary. The truth has also been shadowed by the controversial reviews of this album, Brilliant, that gave dichotomic issues straightaway, from the press, so that the audience couldn’t understand if they were in front of a masterpiece or a tragic failure. But not just a bad record, we have thousands every day. A real damage to the music history, so that it’s impossible to rehab from it. At this point I said to myself:”I absolutely have to listen to it and review it myself!”Also because I still don’t understand why some important radios, in Italy, for example, play Ultravox music and don’t announce the issue of the album. I understood now that the critical line that makes you “a cool reviewer” is this:
“The first three albums of Ultravox were fantastic. Not successful but really great. Then this smart man came and with gabardine trousers,catchy melodies and cheesy and romantic stuff did a boombastic success, this doesn’t mean the quality is good”.
The smart man is Midge Ure.And this statement was said by Mixo from Radio Capital, in Italy, very important dj, just in case…He is one, but this is the paradigmatic sense of what’s going on.
I’m “virgin” to Ultravox because Vienna was out in 1980 and I was 7 years old. I just enjoyed as a child the weird music connected to a colourful man singing “Fade To Grey”, just like nowadays children love Lady Gaga, right? So I’m not nostalgic of something I didn’t live.
And now I come to the album.
Do you know Depeche Mode? Do you know Muse? Do you know Mozart? Do you know Wagner?
The genre doesn’t exist here, it’s not the point. The point is, how much are you available to be shaken into your feelings? We are so used to music that comes and goes, like a white noise underneath the soundrack of our life. Something that moves your emotions is disturbing, and I can understand those who think they don’t have time for these bullshits. But this is the main duty of art. DISTURB YOU,sorry.One and Satellite my favourite songs. Don’t miss them.
Live:Ouverture, easy, strong guitars, strong pianos, air vocals..the opera teaches you must open,open,open…
Flow: Hard rock and synthesizers.But much better than Van Halen.Ure is a guitarist. You’ll see this clearly.Not the Black keys, not Nirvana, other effects!Powerful.
Brilliant:You brilliant thing you are religiously denied. The lyric is worth the whole song. Sing low, guys, don’t scream, everybody is screaming, sometimes a whisper can be louder than a bomb to your soul.
Change:Minimal electro after this extraordinary spread of power. Chill out and industrial.
Rise: I would have sung less, Midge Ure (yes, here in my opinion he sings too much) but this is why remixes are there!Because the music is a club masterpiece, people on drugs would go crazy. He sings perfectly but the loop is too good to be heard on its own longer…
Remembering:long journey, piano and guitar, I don’t get it so much to be honest…The “ostinato”is a fixation of the pianist Billie Currie (cause in classics it works a lot) Ure is a storyteller here, but.. Don’t like it so much.Nothing so important…
Hello: Wagner, do you like it?
One: We already have a “One”.U2’s one. But this is hardcore, this makes you really cry. My favourite ever, the smart guy Ure is at the top of his vocal feelings and range and knows how to come back from a bridge to a chorus.Lose yourself in the music, the moment etc.., this is a masterpiece.
Fall: Another fantastic construction. With noises. Einsturzende.
Lie: Triumph! Do you like Wagner?
Satellite:The most difficult to sing and play,one of my favourites. Odd timing.I would like to hear a young lad to sing this impossible combination of notes. The violin is superb, atonal and then sings again.
Contact: React, rewind. Chill out and start again. Violin and guitar, perfect.
Conclusions:If you’re in trouble and listen to the lyrics, you still got a hope.Don’t scream, sing.Be quiet and gentle, you’ll make a mess among reviewers, be in tune and open your heart. You’ll be an insult to this unaffected world but it feels better.
Title track made by fans.