wed 24/07/2024

CD: New Order – Music Complete | reviews, news & interviews

CD: New Order – Music Complete

CD: New Order – Music Complete

Manc legends find a new lease of life

New Order go back to the future

New Order's first album of new material since 2005's Waiting for the Siren's Call reveals a band sounding rejuvenated and fighting fit, despite the fact that they're halfway through their fourth decade. The current lineup is original members Bernard Sumner, Gillian Gilbert and Stephen Morris, now augmented by guitarist Phil Cunningham and bassist Tom Chapman, the latter filling the giant boots of the departed Peter Hook.

But there's no doubt the new chemistry works, and the songs here run the gamut of dance, rock, electronica and even disco with a kind of manic glee.

There's nothing resembling a duff track here (a remarkable feat in today's supposedly post-album environment) but the guts of the matter are a cluster of pieces where the group dig deep and cut loose with some massive grooves, managing to sound both consciously retro and as modern as 2025. On "Tutti Frutti", which features not only samples of a mysterious Italian-speaking gentleman but also vocals from La Roux's Elly Jackson, they unleash a gigantic stomp reminiscent of Frankie's "Relax", creating a funkoid eco-system of strings, percussion and synths and which sounds as if it could march on forever if they hadn't cut it off at a mere six minutes-odd.

For "People On the High Line", the 'Order have grabbed a riff from the Chic catalogue (complete with Nile-style jittery guitar) and turned it into a euphoric infinite loop, with maybe a droll nod to Happy Mondays en route. Best of the lot may be "Plastic", which brazenly nicks its thudding beats and leaping sequenced arpeggios from the Donna Summer epic "I Feel Love", over which Sumner sings an ambivalent lyric which veers abruptly from fawning adulation to contempt (another intriguing development here is Sumner's melodic, expressive singing, far removed from his blank drone of yore).

There's loads more, like Iggy Pop sounding like Ernest Hemingway as he recites Sumner's lyrics to the nervy, bluesy electronica of "Stray Dog", or the surging power-pop of "Superheated" (featuring Brandon Flowers). "Nothing but a Fool" sounds like an ancient folk song, dragged up from the band's earliest days. You could hardly ask for more. 

There's nothing resembling a duff track here (a remarkable feat in today's supposedly post-album environment)


Editor Rating: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)

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I cannot wait for this album (although I think Restless is still missing Hooky's unforgettable bass lines

the moment the legend of Peter Hook left so did the New Order sound. Nobody can replicate his incredible bass lines but his son Jack comes a mighty second

Did people say it wasn't New Order when Gillian Gilbert left? No. She had been a member for 20 years. Let Hook go do the nostalgia tour circuit if that's what interests him more these days while the band release their best work in decades.

a remarkable album of presence and future persons working through the absence of one huge original signature member move on into new territory sounding remarkably frisky, alive, youthful, and so essential. these are good to great songs - Plastic, Trutti Frutti, People On The High Line, Nothing But A Fool, Superheated remind of something that could have happened between Technique and Republic. The 10 year wait past the 2001 - 2006 horse latitudes of lackluster song writing has new and refreshing material that remind us why we paid 35 years attention in waiting past the sirens call. best comeback album ever.

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