If you're reading this review, presumably you've already heard "The Age Of Plastic" and are curious as to what adventures the Buggles got into after that amazing album. Well, this follow up won't rock your world in quite the same way as their debut. However, what "Adventures in Modern Recording" lacks in focus, it makes up for in experimentation, fun, and even beauty.
Even though "Age of Plastic" was mostly a fun little pop album, it had a subtle sense of sadness floating here and there, and a conceptual unity that "Adventures" doesn't have. But on this album, it sounds like Trevor Horn (essentially the only actual Buggle here, since Geoff Downes only plays on a few tracks) knew that he couldn't really follow up a debut that good, so he decided to just have fun in the studio. This album is much more playful, the lyrics are more surreal, and the production is a lot more... eccentric, I guess is the best word for it.
Highlights? "I Am A Camera" is in my opinion the best Buggles song ever recorded... quiet, distant, slightly melancholy, and just plain beautiful. "On TV" is the apparent attempt at a single, and it's a really fun, bouncy slice of synth-worship. "Inner City" and "Lenny" are a little odd, but they really get in your head after a while. "Vermillion Sands" is worth it just for that totally random synth/big-band section at the end. That's the kind of oddness that I live for.
A few tracks have some lyrical strangeness ("Waiting for the rainbow warrior"?!?), but the music more than makes up for it. If you're new to the Buggles, get "Age of Plastic". If your first thought after finishing that record was that you just wanted more, then you should definitely add this to your collection. I just wish the Buggles hadn't imploded so soon after this record ;_;... Ah well, you can't have everything!