It's called "Brilliant" and if the title seems like the height of hubris; that's because it is. I was not expecting too much, based on the incredible shrinking Midge Ure career that saw me give up totally on his music by a decade ago. Their live 2009/2010 reunion shows were pretty good on CD and DVD. They were always great players, but could they write a new album after 28 years apart? I was skeptical. I noticed that writing credits were Currie, Cross, Ure. Warren Cann was still shut out. Not a hopeful sign.
The album started off even better than I was expecting. The first cuts could be off of "Quartet." Not their best, but far from their worst. Then it rapidly degenerated, primarily due to Midge Ure's weird, vocals used throughout the rest of the album. He sounds thin and emaciated. I'd heard fan reaction to this on the title cut, pre-release single but I didn't play it on the web to maintain some sense of surprise.
When the CD came in the mail I was surprised all right. As it progressed, it seemed to get worse and worse with some good melodies here and there, but overall, poor songwriting, worse production and the worst singing ever on anything with the Ultravox name. Maybe a 4 cut EP could have been salvaged from this farrago. The vocal production just exacerbates the bad singing choices. It was the kind of record where I was incredulous the band saw fit to release it. Not unlike the "UVOX" album 28 years ago.