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NEW ORDER - Waiting For the Sirens Call   Print  E-mail 
Written by Mark Reed  
Wednesday, 20 April 2005
And from nowhere, everybody suddenly loves New Order. We Always did love them, though....

Godlike Geniuses, the NME tells us. Innovators, schminnovators, blah. Those flavours of the month who hail them as heroes ...this shows them how to do it.

Whereas some turn to the template of the past and rehash old ideas, others always look to something else - . Something new. To the future, which has only just begun. They may be old, and they may be old ideas, but they don't sound old. They still sound like young men with a weight on their shoulders.

It's a New Order record. And it sounds like other New Order records - timeless and timely, of electronics and emotions, of men and machines. Beautiful, yet reservedly British. But no invention, no innovation. Just New Order doing what they do, and doing it well.

To the keen eyed, the signs for their eighth album are not good. Verbosely named, it dispenses with the efficiency of their previous twenty years of recording with bulky, inelegant titles and simplistic  one would say  crude artwork that appears to make an almost harsh break with their history.

Never judge a record by it's cover. For once you open the box, and press play - or as those who live in the future do, double-click-  you'll find appearances deceptive.

"Krafty", the oddly titled lead-off single, is typical New-Order-By-Numbers, but never sounds it. Subterrean bass, vocals both loving and loathing life at the same time, meaningless and meaningful at the same time. The type of song that makes you see that everything in life can be beautiful : child-like, but never childish. Innocent but never na´ve.

Repeat this fornula (with slight variation) a further ten times, and you have the new album. Unlike many other New Order albums though, there's little in the way of obvious album filler. Almost every song could be a single , bar the final, blundering Beatles-pastiche of "Working Overtime"- the record is a succint, streamlined body of work that is another worthy addition to their body of work.

And yet it's oddly stagnant. For the first time, New Order's reputation may indeed be undeserved. The patent blueprint of "Get Ready" is unchanged ; a heady mix of crunchy guitars and swooping bass and deft electronics - and this is perhaps the record's shortcoming. There's new songs. Just no new ideas.

It's just another New Order record ... and another New Order record is better than many bands entire careers.

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