Refreshing to note that little has changed in the bleak worldview of Marc Almond and Dave Ball. Though their first new album in eighteen years can be called revolutionary, their happy knack of capturing seedy worlds and paranoia in the shape of fine tunes has in no way deserted them. The lyrical matter alone is a delight, full of self-deprecating lyrics expressing Almond's realisation that he is approaching middle age; take 'Last Chance's "I've wasted too many chances, on small ads and Internet romances", that it sonically recalls their classic 'Say Hello (Wave Goodbye)' is a wonderful bonus. Barring a sudden influx of media coverage it's likely that only the lucky few will ever get to hear otherwise surefire hit singles as wonderful as 'Sensation Nation' and 'Whatever It Takes'. Countering this pop feel is the relentless synth throb of 'Le Grand Guignol' and dark, twisted tracks of the calibre of 'Caligula Syndrome' and 'The Night'; not intended for the masses but certainly no worse for it. Laced with humour on much of this record, ("Colonic irrigation... didn't agree with me") it's only sad to know that they have spent so many years apart. Ball - in addition to knowing his way around a synth melody more than most - successfully reins in Almond's tendency to overreach and stumble into self parody; so often a problem with Almond's solo period. Dignity and respect remains fully intact for this pioneering twosome.