Orbital’s decision to call it a day after 15 years won’t have shocked many. That they do so with such a sleek and satisfying sixth album?their best since 1994’s Snivilisation?comes as a pleasant surprise. Avoiding wilful experimentation, Blue Album finds the brothers Hartnoll recycling and refining familiar themes: “You Lot” apes live favourite “Satan” with its socio-spiritual monologue (taken from Christopher Eccleston’s Jesus portrayal in ITV’s The Second Coming), while elegant epic “Pants” evokes the siblings’ “Halcyon” days.
Only Sparks collaboration “Acid Pants”, a hammy 303-fuelled rave-up (what else?), queers the pitch. Otherwise, a dignified exit.