With The First Letter Wire renamed itself WIR and continued its move toward more detailed soundscapes. Like the previous Manscape, the vocals mean considerably less than the musical textures -- it's all about the sound, not the song. Some of the soundscapes are quite interesting, but much of the music fails to be compelling. Nevertheless, the concentration on sonic textures made it no surprise that Colin Newman began pursuing a career as a techno label owner after the album's release.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine