Background/Info: Originally set up in 1989 and split up in 1995, the American synth-pop formation got back to business in 2016. They released several digital singles plus a kind of ‘best of’ from the early years, but here comes their first new full length album in 24 years.
Content: “Return To The Machine” stands for classical electro-pop music, which is clearly strongly inspired by the sound of Depeche Mode. I noticed a few cuts with a harder, danceable kick while they also experimented with slower, melancholic parts.
+ + + : Mind Machine avoids any form of innovation, but deals with a well-crafted, stereo-typical electro-pop format. The songs are driven by great bass lines, melodic passages and a talented vocalist for this kind of music. I’ve a little preference for the more danceable “Here And There”.
– – – : This band is missing its own sound DNA; the Depeche Mode inspiration is too obvious. The tracks are however fully enjoyable with a little exception of “Decade”, which is a slower song without real inspiration and where even the vocal’s production suffers from a lack of passion and conviction.
Conclusion: “Return To The Machine” will appeal to the real electro-pop fans who like the classical format in the genre.
Best songs: “Here And There”, “We Keep Walking”, “Clouds Of Doubt”.