Much like Datarock, WhoMadeWho's début album was something of a cult record. A collection of interesting ideas stitched into an album that managed to leverage exposure mainly due to a couple of cover versions of dance tracks (Beni Bennasi's 'Satisfaction' and Mr Oizo's 'Flat Beat') that cropped up on a number of mix CDs.
WhoMadeWho's strength has, until now at least, been on a song-by-song basis. Taken all at once, as an album, their work can suffer from a lack of variety and flow.
The Plot is album proper number two (there was also a set of alternative takes on songs from the début entitled Green Versions in between that album and this) and is clearly an attempt to develop a more varied sound. The songs have all moved a little further away from the post-punk-disco sound of old and there are some more distinctive styles - the grimy garage rock of 'The Train' or the quickened beat of 'Office Clerk' together with it's electronic stabs for example.
BlackPlastic still can't help but find WhoMadeWho little more than a temporary diversion however. The problem is that, on the whole, the album suffers from a lack of consequence. It sounds like a band who have gone into the studio to knock out a record before they go home for tea. Most of the songs just don't have the gravitas, with only 'Ode to Joy' and 'Working After Midnight' demonstrating any emotion or depth.
WhoMadeWho definitely have the potential for a great album and indeed, though a little rough around the edges, their début was better than this. The Plot sounds like a band content with playing it safe.