By the end of the 80’s, British synthpop pioneers OMD had lost one of their core members, Paul Humphreys, although he did help in writing a couple of tracks for this album. Andy McCluskey carried on under the name, but one can safely say that OMD’s sail was sagging.
Unlike Depeche Mode, who made the 90’s their own by reinventing themselves on their own terms and combining the bleakness of 90’s rock to their 80’s synthpop and thus bringing synthpop screaming and clawing into the new decade, Humphreys’ solo incarnation of OMD was by 1996 basically reduced to sounding like an old dog trying to learn the new tricks of the young pups. It did occasionally learn them, as the highlights of the album prove, but for the most part it just sounds strained and lacking in spirit.
The two opening tracks, Universal and Walking On The Milky Way, together with Too Late form the three worthwhile songs the album has to offer. The rest range between mediocre and pointless. However, of the three good tracks, especially Walking On The Milky Way is a perfect example of how OMD did not go the Depeche Mode way of making it to the 90’s on their own terms; this song clearly steals a lot from the young brit-pop bands of the era. Hardly flattering words to speak of a band who once upon a time where true pioneers of synthesizer-driven pop music.