OMD review: Synth-pop at its most charming and effortless

The Punishment of Luxury
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Artist: OMD
Genre: Pop
Label: 100% Records

Its themes may cover the isolation of modern living and the trouble with instant gratification and empty consumerism, but OMD’s 13th album is no po-faced manifesto, it’s synth-pop at its most charming and effortless.

The band can conjure up melodies so familiar they feel like greatest hits. It's an album so full of stylish pop perfection it would make Brandon Flowers weep into his silky pillow. The perfectly formed title track would not have sounded out of place on either Neon Neon album with its soaring synths, catchy chorus and sly-wink lyrics; while Isotype, with its Vocoder vocals, could almost be a lost Kraftwerk b-side. Then there's the anthemic What Have We Done, which feels like it could be slotted neatly into their bursting back catalogue or gifted to James Murphy as an end-of-the-night wine-drunk LCD Soundsystem ballad. The Punishment of Luxury is a band comfortable with their legacy, playing to their strengths and sounding more alive with pleasure than ever.