New Order - Best Album Yet?
I have had a stormy relationship with Joy Division/ New Order. I liken them to an awkward student who doesn't know which career path to take.
Sometimes they over achieve and are quite brilliant, but then they can be quite lazy and deliver homework that's obviously been rushed with little thought. However I'm pleased to say that this terms work is definitely the best so far.
'Music Complete' is New Orders first full studio release in a decade, and the first to feature the new line up with Gillian Gilbert returning to the fold and Tom Chapmen on bass.
The first track and single from the album 'Restless' is a typical N.O. tune. Right from the opening notes you know that you are back with an old friend. Its a great tune and a re-introduction to a great band
Then something weird happens. It might just be me, but I'm transported back to the early days of Joy Division/ New Order. During the first 46 seconds or so of 'Singularity', I feel as though I'm back in the Russel Club in Hulme, or at that famous N.O. performance on Granada TV's 'Celebration'. I'm waiting for Curtis to sing.... Then its back in the room to a fantastic tune that only N.O. know how to deliver. Its a mesmerizing piece of work.
And it gets better!!! 'Plastic' sounds as though it could have been recorded in Hansa Studios with Georgio Moroder. Its a massive dance floor tune that re-mixers and DJ's will be queuing up to work on. Great second single.
'Tutti Frutti' is up next. Another great Dance tune that features Elly Jackson on backing vocals. Elle and her band La Roux toured with N.O. as support during 2014. The Last 2 mins of this song are epic.
I'm going to skip to my favorite track that bizarrely features Iggy Pop. Pop, who last year sang Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" with New Order front man Bernard Sumner at a benefit in New York City, provides vocals for the brooding tune 'Stray Dog'. I cannot praise this track enough. I was instantly hooked. Awesome stuff. A massive progressive beat with Iggy's 100 cigs a day vocals is a masterpiece that must have put a smile on the groups faces during that first listen back in the studio.
Super fan Brandon Flowers of the Killers provides the vocals on the last track 'Superheated' Brandon named The Killers after the band in New Orders 'Crystal', and has become a good friend of the band. Its a light hearted tune and a perfect closer to the album.
To be honest, its the best New Order album that I have heard for many many years. 11 tracks of pure brilliance. 5 stars. Go to the top of the class.