These Hopeful Machines is the follow up to 2006's This Binary Universe, an album that created an entirely new genre of evocative electro-acoustic music. Keyboard Magazine wrote in a review, "In a hundred years, it could well be studied as the first major work of the new millennium. It's that goodâ€. These Hopeful Machines continues to evolve BT's distinct technical, lyrical and compositional vision and execution, but his usual melodic complexity and bleeding-edge electronic techniques permeate the album from start to finish.
Album opener and "Suddenlyâ€ opens to a minute's worth of glitchy breakbeats made using BT's own software, Breaktweaker, before morphing into a powerful, guitar-driven anthem that is among the album's most memorable songs. The track "The Emergencyâ€, is instantly a classic BT dance hit designed to linger long after the song ends. The album even features BT's first cover, a reinterpretation of "The Ghost in Youâ€ by The Psychedelic Furs. The song was recorded on tape, giving it a familiar and sentimental feeling while maintaining BT's distinctive style. There are also multiple collaborators on This Binary Universe, like Rob Dickinson vocals on "Alwaysâ€ and â€œThe Unbreakableâ€, JES, (formerly of Motorcyle) on "Every Other Wayâ€ and â€œThe Light In Thingsâ€, and The Police's Stewart Copeland who lends a drum breakdown to "Every Other Wayâ€.