The new romantic era of the early '80s was long gone by the time Ultravox re-formed and recorded Ingenuity. And truth be told, very little of the group remained -- in body and spirit. Keyboardist/violinist Billy Currie took care of all the writing (except the lyrics) and handled the musical direction and "continuity" with the band's career. He was the only original member left on board in 1993. Gary Williams and Tony Holmes provide a very average rhythm section. Hard rock guitarist Vinnie Burns is kept to the role of provider of rhythm guitar and atmospheric textures; his occasional solos won't convince anyone. The group's best asset is new singer Sam Blue, who really puts all of his guts in the project. He has a great male pop kind of a voice and if the album doesn't sink into pop blandness it is mostly thanks to his powerful delivery in "The Silent Cries," "Distance," "Ideals," and "A Way out, a Way Through." There's a certain likeness to his voice and the whole resurrection project that recalls Ray Wilson's late involvement in Genesis (actually, "Distance" points to the direction the venerable group will take with Calling All Stations -- the similarities are astounding). Currie has not lost all his flair, both as a soloist (he throws in a nice few lines in "Give It All Back") and a composer: "The Silent Cries" and "Distance" rank high in his catalog, all projects considered. But Ingenuity is plagued with let's-get-with-the-times attitude and hook-laden pop songs. "There Goes a Beautiful World," "Who'll Save You," and the like are the reason why cutout bins exist. For Currie completists mostly.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture