Friday, July 21, 2017

ULTRAVOX-Ingenuity (1994)


Seems my mental digital jukebox was set for random play today; I was in the mood to listen to anything! A brief scan of some past listening recommendations given to me led to this British new wave act capturing my attention. That's when it occurred to me that much of ULTRAVOX's music remains uncharted by my ears, so I felt it was time to make them a part of my ever-so-changing listening lineup. As much of my music explorations have seen me venturing back into the 90's, I remained there with ULTRAVOX by checking out this :Ingenuity" album. Wasn't quite sure what to expect from it, but I at least knew the band was part of the New Romantic movement of the 80's, which would put them in the same camp as the likes of ABC, HUMAN LEAGUE, ALPHAVILLE and the American band THE ROMANTICS themselves. Except the opening title track, with its lovely spacey ambiance and groovy synthpop beat that instantly sparked my senses, was very unexpected, yet a very cool listen. Already had it pegged as a new addition to my 'Ambient Mix', even before the catchy hook—featuring the haunting, repeated delivery of 'ingenuity right now'—started to grow on me. As usual with these new wave acts, the actual meanings of a large fraction of these lyrics escaped me; second and third listens would be required for me to completely grasp what the songwriter is saying. Despite that, I still enjoyed some marvelous moments, particularly with the stunning power ballads—"Future Picture Forever". "Distance" (I found the lead guy's words of ' distance destroys all that's connected to me ' quite intriguing), "Who'll Save You?"—which all feature an entertaining show of intense, rock guitar riffs during their respective extended instrumental segments. An interesting yet coincidental twist for me, as before I selected this album for listening, I had been leaning on indulging in some heavy metal rock, which is something I hadn't enjoyed in a long minute. I'd get even more of the intense rock to satisfy my subconscious craving with "The Silent Cries" (another song whose lyrics intrigue; a warning about not leaving love behind and ignoring silent cries), "Give It All Back" and the perky, poppy number "A Way Out, A Way Through". Following the opening title track, the more synthpop side of the ULTRAVOX sound reveals itself only a couple other times—the energetic "There Goes A Beautiful World", plus the close-out all-instrumental dance rave that is "Majestic"; nevertheless, the trio makes for a nice contrast to the predominant alternative-style presentation of this album:

1. Ingenuity
2. There Goes A Beautiful World
3. Give It All Back
4. Future Picture Forever
5. The Silent Cries
6. Distance
7. Ideals
8. Who'll Save You?
9. A Way Out, A Way Through
10, Majestic

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