Release Date: 10.16.01
Record label: wea / warner bros.
by: peter naldrett - uk correspondent
The return of New Order, eight years after they released Republic, has been given the kind of attention youd expect to see if The Beatles or, dare we say, Jesus, decided to make a return. The Manchester outfit, which some say invented dance music when they first formed New Order and, before that, Joy Division, have been given that much of pedestal to strum their guitars on.
The formula that has made them so successful is now well known, and this surprise new outing, Get Ready, is a continuation of that rather than an amazing revelation after their second coming. Most will have now heard the new single, "Crystal," and recognize that it has all the New Order hallmarks: tight production to the point of over perfection, pleasant tunes, Bernard Sumners familiar voice and oft-appalling lyrics, and heavy guitar bass line. Familiar it may be, but as equally brilliant as past classics such as "Regret" and "Thieves Like Us."
"Crystal" is followed by other potential singles like "60 Miles An Hour," "Vicious Streak" and "Slow Jam" and the quality songs are padded out by less appealing, but not disgraceful, tracks that include a large slice of instrumental action. "Primitive Notion" has an interesting wild side, while "Rock The Shack" doesnt disguise its ambitions to be a straight rock track that the ageing lads gloriously fail to carry off. And you may find the "Run Wild" finale interesting, as it blends a pleasant, rousing tune with Christian-folky lyrics.
New Order are at their best when occupying the grey ground between pop, rock and dance, somehow managing to be all three without being crass and creating their own musical niche, joined recently by the likes of The Lightning Seeds. Their history is stunning, even if their only number one, "World In Motion," was propelled there by England football fans in 1990 and was actually written by comedian/actor Keith Allan.
But, as has been the case before, the main cringeworthy New Order moments come in the form of Sumners lyrics, which are at times shallow and uninspiring. The worst victim of this is on "Slow Jam" with the lines:
"The sea was very rough\It made me feel sick\But I like kind of stuff\It beats arithmetic."