New Order: Music Complete

review order x1 cong

We can’t have been alone in wondering how New Order’s first new album without Hooky would sound and here’s the answer: a classic.
We remember Hooky talking about Waiting for the Sirens’ Call and his basic critique on any track was how much of his bass there was. He’s an iconic player but any band composing around how prominent the bass line is will suffer. And he always seems a bit grumpy.
Whether it’s the lack of a bass or ego we don’t know but this album sparkles. It’s packed full of bouncy, sharp dance tunes and we can’t work out whether they’ve appropriated lots of classic dance tracks or just rifled their own back catalogue. The album it most reminds us of is Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s debut, both for the crystal clear production and for the way it has some moving moments.
Opener Restless harks back to Regret, a slightly melancholic pop tune, while track two Singularity has that same kind of driving beat that made True Faith so good. Plastic has an old school house / disco vibe (and is very long, like a 12” remix) and any thoughts of Georgio Moroder are amplified by Tutti Frutti, which opens with some muttered German and a synth beat borrowed from Donna Summer era disco, topped with melodic vocals.
People On The High Line borrows from the Black Box era of cheesy house (with a Diana Ross style opening). Nothing But A Fool has a Bon Jovi-style twiddly acoustic guitar opening before becoming a thoughtful New Order song that could become a classic, while Superheated — featuring Brandon Flowers on vocals — is a cheesy disco anthem, the kind of tune Ferris Bueller would have picked for his movie, driving his dad’s Ferrari down a sunny road.
It’s an even album throughout but try Restless or Academic. Gillian Gilbert is back and Peter Savill, of course, does the artwork.

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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