History of Modern
History of Modern marked the first time OMD's Paul Humphreys and Andy McCluskey had recorded together in 24 years, and they defied the odds against them by turning out a record that not only picked up where they left off but was one of 2010’s finest electronic-oriented outings by anyone. Things here kick off in full-throttle fashion with the uptempo, impossibly catchy “New Babies: New Toys,” which manages to fold some rather bleak lyrics into an irresistible, celebratory-sounding groove. “History of Modern, Pt. 1” manages a similar feat, making existentialism sound positively party-friendly. Of course, McCluskey and Humphreys are most famous for bringing melodic balladry into the electro-pop realm (à la “Enola Gay,” "If You Leave,” et al), and that gift doesn’t desert them here. Tunes like “RFWK” (a tip of the hat to primary OMD influence Kraftwerk) duly tug the heartstrings via sweet synth lines and McCluskey’s emotion-packed vocals. History of Modern stands as proof that reunion albums can sometimes exceed expectations.