New Order Music Complete

Sep 10/2015
by Karolina Hordowick

REVIEW

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Can you believe it’s been more than three decades since New Order first took over the music scene? And a decade since their last full LP (we’re excluding Lost Sirens, naturally), Waiting for the Siren’s Call, came out? New Order fans, take heart: the godfathers of synth-punk dance rock are back for another turn on the floor with the release of their eleventh LP proper since 2005, Music Complete.

Immediately, there’s that New Order signature; it’s scrawled on every track. You know it well: atmospheric synth blended up into the band’s patented sound, crafted by members Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris, Gillian Gilbert, Phil Cunningham and Tom Chapman. You’ll find it throughout Music Complete, in different iterations, but it’s ever present, erosion-proof. Kicking off with the single ‘Restless,’ immediately hardcores will be satiated—it’s New Order coming home. A delicious throbbing build, the track is perfect for heating up the night. “And in this changing world, I’m lost for words,” seem like appropriate lyrics from a band that, while highly respected, is no longer forming current music zeitgeist, but rather informing it as an influence noted by newer-to-the-scene artists. Not that it matters—those who get it, who have stayed by New Order’s side, will dial in gleefully.

“People on The High Line” with its bounce-bounce-go and perfectly executed beats, coming in right on time, just floats you to the end. Then there’s ‘Unlearn This Hatred’ and ‘The Game,’ both of which make us kind of want to see New Order collaborate with Kasabian—could you imagine? If they notched up the power on these tracks by a few degrees, they could have been explosive.

But the standout track? It has to be ‘Nothing But A Fool.’ Taking it back to what made Waiting for the Siren’s Call such a solid album, the band gets up on that pulpit to do what it’s always done so well: preach pure pop. Coming in at almost eight minutes, the track’s well-written lyrics move you through slow-build acoustics into a loss/redemption narrative that culminates with radiant back-up vocals. Lyrics like “Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got/You think you’re better than the rest/You think the world belongs to you/But you’re nothing but a fool” make you almost wonder if the band is calling out today’s fleeting pop stardom state. ‘Nothing But A Fool’ essentially crystallizes all that is good and loved and true about New Order.

With vocals from Iggy Pop, Brandon Flowers and La Roux smattered across Music Complete, and a few fun production points from Tom Rowlands of The Chemical Brothers, this album is clearly not without the requisite collaboration many bands of New Order’s ilk seem to include these days. A solid go for the devout, may DJs put these new tracks on for those who have yet to connect with New Order—if so, it’ll be a matter of time before this and their earlier, seminal works are in heavy rotation yet again.

 

 

Sam Himself currently lives in New York City by way of Switzerland. Long before he made the U.S. his home in 2010, he fell in love with soul, blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and country. Spending years creating his own style by merging these genres, the result is an eclectic Americana, unified by his distinct baritone and his guitar-based compositions. “Boatman’s Song,” the first single off his debut LP, describes the individual experience of global injustice.     G— What is your relationship to music? SH—Music is what brought me to the US. I grew up in Switzerland, where I immersed myself in American music from a young age. I always wanted to get to where that music’s from, and now that I’m here, I can’t wait to travel the country and see the places where the songs I love were born. G—Can you tell us about “Boatman’s Song”? Sam Himself—Last summer, I went to the beach in Italy. Around that time, news and images of the escalating refugee crisis started pouring in. The people in those photos arrived on beaches like the one I went to, though while I was on vacation, they were trapped in a nightmare. Out of despair, they had risked

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