Utopia

Oblivion

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AllMusic Review by

For Oblivion, their first album for the fledgling independent Passport, Utopia merged the new wave inclinations of Utopia with their previous hard rock sensibilities. In other words, it was a bid for chart success, as the quartet attempted to revamp themselves as mainstream rockers for the mid-'90s. Even if they were sharp enough to realize that synths, arena-sized hooks and big beats were all equally popular in 1984, they didn't assemble the components in a way that sounded contemporary. Oblivion, perhaps appropriately for an album with such a title, is a record out of time, one that sounds lost in a netherworld between the '70s and '80s. The sound of the record is disconcerting, but it would have been excusable if more than two songs -- the opener "Itch In My Brain" and the excellent "Crybaby," which tries to ape Def Leppard and sounds like classic Todd -- were memorable. Following the tight, focused Utopia, the lack of strong material is troubling and, in retrospect, it's clear that this was the beginning of the end for Utopia.

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