VNV Nation
Automatic


2.5
average

Review

by Acanthus USER (46 Reviews)
September 20th, 2011 | 21 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: VNV Nation have shocked the world, they have released another future-pop album.

VNV Nation, the band who coined the term future-pop and whose vocal style has influenced countless other groups in the genre, have released what may be the biggest let down of late 2011.

After releasing eight albums that were, at the very least, well received it may seem like the above statement is a bit erroneous. After all this is the band responsible for releasing Matter+Form with it's beloved killer track "Chrome", not to mention all the other almost countless fan favorites, dance-floor hits, and sound-scapes that have managed to capture the listeners ear and mind alike. Ronan Harris has often been heard during a packed dancefloor night, abusing to perfection his 3-note range. VNV Nation took the electronic front by storm, and now they've released their ninth album Automatic.

Continuing the tradition of opening an album by pulling the listener into the sound-scape they have only begun to create Automatic begins slowly, and as "On Air" clicks and statically hisses in direct contrast to the string movement weaving it's way through the speakers it a rather epic stage begins to set istelf. The minimal qualities are gorgeous in their own right, and provide a stark contrast to the blast to the past that is "Space & Time." It seems as if the duo have discovered a new synth sound; it feels as if god himself has opened his arms and thrown down thousand dollar bills from the sky. Ronan provides the lyrical and vocal mainstay that is VNV to the core and all the while the new, classical electronic sounding synth line screams "I-AM-A-NEW-BAND!!!!!!" Even the lyrics (which have been in the same vein for years) are crawling up out of the pit of heaven; all of this taken in at once can bring tears to a devoted fans eyes.

This newly found sound and energy, this happiness, stays for all of 3 tracks. Just as "Resolution" creates a wall of hope and "Control" shatters expectations so does "Goodbye 21st Century" kill the new VNV in one blow. Disguised as a "real" track this 4:26 interlude is aptly named, for while beautifully done it signals the beginning of the end of the highlights on Automatic. The proceeding 5 songs could fit in on almost any of the VNV albums we've come to love over the years, albeit in the sad, more melancholy sections. "Streamlined" brings the tempo back to life for awhile, only to have Ronan revert back to his signature delivery and it's ever present companion, slow tempo, on subsequent tracks. Another issue with the album is the rather strange "Nova" which could easily be mistaken as a call for the god of your choice to come back and take Ronan and co. away to a better place; open the skies and burn it all away/'cause I've been waiting all my life... forever waiting/shine your light on me really is hard to put to any other imagery than a religious rapture-ques experience.

VNV Nation promised the music industry a new album, what they delivered were 4 interludes masquerading as full length tracks, 2 songs with a completely new sound and feel, and 4 songs taken from the depths of their discography (figuratively speaking). The tracks "Space & Time" and "Control" show what could have been, a voraciously sexy tease that leaves the audience shifting their legs and a bit bluer around the balls. VNV Nation have shocked the world, they have released another future-pop album.



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user ratings (31)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
pizzamachine (4)
yet another excellent futurepop album....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Acanthus
September 20th 2011


9543 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Released digitally on September 16th in Europe (CD/Digital). In North America, the digital version will be available on September 16th.

This album pissed me off.

Digging: The Knife - Deep Cuts

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
September 20th 2011


7097 Comments


Don't think i'll be checking this one out. Have a pos.

Acanthus
September 20th 2011


9543 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

A lot of people will like this, but it truly is just more of the same. "Space & Time" as well as "Control" are worth your time if you enjoy the band a bit.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
September 20th 2011


31357 Comments


In North America, the digital version will be available on September 16th.


Are you stuck in a timewarp?



Digging: Objekt - Flatland

Acanthus
September 20th 2011


9543 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I just wanted to make sure my bases are covered since I wasn't sure on protocol for these type of things.

Edit: Since Amazon isn't selling this even digitally yet I was just being careful.

Ladakh
September 20th 2011


6 Comments


Is anyone else noticing a remarkable similarity to The Knife when listening to some of the synth sounds and patterns? Control is a particulalrly good example.


bloc
September 20th 2011


34919 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

RAAAAAAAAAAAA!!

pizzamachine
September 20th 2011


12571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

LOL only a 2.5 have you lost your mind? THIS IS AMAZING!!! Also dang it you beat me but I'm still gonna review this.

Acanthus
September 20th 2011


9543 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It's ok, I knew other members would review this too.

Nothing new has impressed me in the genre recently, it all seems stale and re-used.

pizzamachine
September 20th 2011


12571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Tbh I haven't kept up with futurepop enough.. but that'll change!

Acanthus
September 20th 2011


9543 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I mean VNV and Imperative Reaction both had new releases and I was so excited, then they came and delivered albums that were just "Good" or sounded re-hashed....

pizzamachine
September 20th 2011


12571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

One thing I agree with you is that this album has too many interludes, they really gotta stop doing that.

Acanthus
September 20th 2011


9543 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It's a lengthy album because they are at least the length of an average rock single, I really was wanting to like this.

bloc
September 20th 2011


34919 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I won't lie, Automatic DOES sound like any other futurepop album out there (but then again, it all sounds the same anyway) but damn does VNV do a good job of pulling it off.

Hell, I'm even starting to love that Control song. But the first song is stupid and unnecessary.

Acanthus
September 20th 2011


9543 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I can actually handle "On-Air" because it comes before the return to form tracks are ever introduced; I just feel that they lost an opportunity to do something truly superb here.

bloc
November 11th 2011


34919 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Still awesome.

Even better than before man ;)

pizzamachine
November 11th 2011


12571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gonna get this for Christmas!

Etrius
January 5th 2012


49 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review, great summary. I have seen them live in Vienna in late 2011, they were great as ever. They haven´t really changed their sound since Matter&Form, which had a big impact on me. They need to do something new sometime. Space & Time is a good stomper. Yes, it´s a bit stale by now and they sound more and more like Schlager. Still a force live though.

Acanthus
January 5th 2012


9543 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I think I'm going to end up being dragged to see the live, which is only a bad thing due to the fact that they'll be playing mostly this and it really grinds on me.

Etrius
January 5th 2012


49 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

ronan is a real bundle of energy and the perfect entertainer. perfect show, effects, drama..nobody "standing" still, haha. don´t worry, they play lots of old stuff too



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