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Ultravox - Ingenuity (2002) Retail CD
Following the failure of the Tony Fennelle era Ultravox, Billywent for a 5 piece approach this time [ and the final try, todate ] for Ultravox as a going concern.Again, like the Tony / Billy duo album 'Revelation', this line-up also bombed without trace. Billy probably guessed that thetime of ultravox had passed, given the garbage in the chartsby this point...people had stopped listening to good music,by and large, by 1994. The rest of the band, who only made thisone album with Billy [ plus some Live gigs ] must have beenscratching their heads wondering why it failed to catch theimagination ofmore… the people who followed the band so faithfullyup until 1986 [ although the mysterious No 76 placing of thereasonable All In One Day single perhaps heralded the end ofUltravox as a 'brand' ? So hot on the heels of disappointing sales of Same Old Story and All Fall Down, maybe it was all over after Warren left and The Collection compilation ? ]......Anyway, we have the superb Sam Blue on vocals,Gary Williams on bass, Billy on his usual synths and viola,Tony Holmes on drums, and Vinny Burns on guitars.Track by track -1.Ingenuity - a masterpiece....worthy of any Ultravox albumin the 80's, midpaced, typical juddering bass kbds, soaringsynths, Midge'like vocals, cracking chorus, neat guitars,just a good good song. Carries a slight sense of foreboding,a little chilling in feeling, like all the best Ultravox songs.2.There goes a beautiful world - not bad at all. Lively kbds,soaring chorus again, very Ultravox of old. Upbeat.3. Give it all back - a darker sound than T2, angrier guitars,prominent drums, dark kbds, and attacking vocals. Quite a shiftin sound from the first two, but still with that quintissential[ wrong ? go on then, you spell it :o) ] Uvox undercoat. A mournful viola even comes in halfway through for a weird instrumental break. Not bad.4. Future picture forever - another dark one, mysterious. Violato the fore, doomy vocals, and whispery keyboards. A piano andrumbling bass pick up the chorus, as some light is allowed in.Classy vocals in the chorus. This title was borrowed for the'live' album released by this line-up some years after theypacked up [ Future Picture - good mix of live versions of thesongs on here plus the older classics, all very well performed ].Not a bad song at all, come complete with a good guitar solofrom Vinny Burns, who is a very good player [ i think he mayhave gone on to join a prog-rock band called Ten after thisUltravox excursion ].5. The Silent Cries - sounds like it comes straight off ofRage in Eden. The old juddery synth bass sequencer keyboardthat we all know and love, kicks in on this one. Then thesong quickly goes off on a tangent for the verses, with a weirdsynth and drums mixture, and original vocals. The chorus returnsyou to the familiar 80's Uvx style again, it could very easilyfigure on any of the Midge era albums. Not bad at all.6. Distance - a little different, all stringsy keyboards,plodding drums, pleading vocals, slow paced.....it changesmid-song and picks up pace, as it goes along. guitars comechugging in after two minutes, and then a full-on guitar soloand some chuggy bass work. Again, not a bad song.7. Ideals - wow. Track 7 on Revelation blew me away, there waslittle sign of that one until it hit you. On this album, therehas already been some good quality stuff, but Ideals is stilla breed apart. Right back to the classic sound, but with a whole new feel added too. Orchestral synths, big piano work,it all kicks off well. Then it changes just as quickly for the1st verse, with a chugging bass/drums/guitar mix, and darkemotional vocals. The song just gets better and better as itgoes on. the chorus isnt the greatest, but it's still prettygood. The instrumental break is superb, remember how when youheard an Ultravox single for the first time, you used to waitto see what the middle-8 break would sound like ? This getsyou right back there. almost Big Country-like guitars fromBurns, good bass and drums, and all punctuated by Billy's piano.Good song.8. Who'll save you - a bit dull, slightly atmospheric, just nota very strong song. They can be excused this, in the midst ofsuch good company as the nine other good tracks.9. A way out a way through - more traditional stuff, it soundsexactly like it's come from the Lament album. Scratchy guitars,big synths, piano, great vocals, damn good song. 10. Majestic - crumbs, quite a diversion, to finish the album.Sounds like one of those old Uvx b-sides ! Slightly updatedsounding version of the age-old bass kbds of Billy, accompaniedby his usual synths etc. Sounds like he may have recorded thisone alone, no vocals, no real sign of drums or guitars, yetif you'd heard this as a b-side to, say, We Came To Dance,you'd have pissed your pants at the time. Majestic indeed, ithas all the hallmarks of Uvx's finest instrumental songs.Great way to round off the album.Again, as with my review of Revelation, it galls me that so fewpeople have actually heard this album. It's a very strongcollection of songs, worthy of the Ultravox name. Sam is a very good vocalist, with a Midge-like quality plus a feel ofhis own too. The other 3 guys are equally at home with theband too, and I suspect by the 'live' album, that they enjoyedtheir short tenure under the Uvx banner, as they sounded likethey enjoyed doing the material both old and new.Billy must have given up on the Ultravox name after this album,and has released several solo albums in recent years. Thecommercial success eluded him in the 90's, both with and withoutthe band name. Midge continues to write Phil Collins type safemusic which nobody really pays any attention to either, Chrishas moved away from music, Warren i think is back in Canada orthe US, so i doubt we will ever see a reunion. Thus, this couldbe the last ever ultravox album...if it is, it's a great wayto close the book. Buy it now.
|2||There Goes a Beautiful World|
|3||Give It All Back|
|4||Future Picture Forever|
|8||Who'll Save You|
|9||Way out, a Way Through|
- Ultravox - Ingenuity (2002) Retail CD
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- 09/04/18 by tearaway
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