OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark), masters of quirky electronic pop music, are back with their fourteenth – and rumored final – album, Bauhaus Staircase. Energy from different sources went into creating this album; modern art to recent world events such as the COVID lockdown to Trump to plain old boredom. A surprising amount of ground is covered over the course of these twelve songs.
Inspiration for the album’s title comes from the Oskar Schlemmer painting Bauhaus Stairway.
The album opens with the title track single, a sort of love letter to the famous German art school that closed down due to the Nazi regime. The intensity in the song is ever-building throughout as singer Andy McClusky expresses open-heartedness while decrying fascism at the same time. This is followed by Anthropocene, which follows the effect of human existence upon the Earth, set to an uptempo dance beat.
Newer songs are intermixed with older tracks that have been finally realized and the remnants of OMD’s older days can be spotted on tracks – new or old – such as Look At You Now and Where We Started.
Veruschka is another single from the album and a slow jam ear worm with moving, thought-provoking lyrics such as:
Columbine and fool Pierrot
A hopeless case, another four hundred blows
Story lines and old postcards
A swansong madness, Sunset Boulevard
Slow Train is a sexy fun ride in the style of Goldfrapp and has a hard-to-resist party vibe to it.
Healing is another slow jam and a solid closer.
McClusky has stated that he would be satisfied if this were the final OMD album. If this is the case, we can feel comforted that OMD has closed out their career on a strong note .