"The Punishment of Luxury" is the thirteenth studio album by English synth-pop group Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD), and the third since their 2006 reformation. Produced by OMD, it was released on 1 September 2017 by White Noise Records.
The record debuted at no. 4 on the UK Album Chart on 8 September 2017, making it the band's highest-charting album in their home country since 1991's Sugar Tax.
The Punishment of Luxury has received generally favourable reviews. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 71, based on 9 reviews.
Since their return in 2010 Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys have steadily been regaining past glories, and The Punishment Of Luxury sees them move up another notch in quality and expression. Their heart remains the synth-heavy, Kraftwerk-influenced orchestrations, but the sense of romance on top gives them a heady charm. Now there is an extra dimension, an extra frisson, for like their contemporaries this year (Erasure, Depeche Mode) OMD are bringing some raw feeling to the studio
Once again the band’s command of a decent melody runs through The Punishment Of Luxury, showing the human element of songwriting that will never die. The title track and soaring Isotope score highly in this respect, their yearning music and lyrics pining for the days when technology was an exciting addition rather than an all-consuming aspect of everyday life.
This is the soundbite to take from the album, a brave statement levelled at a world of increasingly brief and meaningless interactions. OMD will want your interaction with their 13th album to be a lasting one – and on this evidence there is no reason why it shouldn’t be.
Reviewed by musicomh.com.