I was pretty disappointed by New Order’s debut. If I can recall, I believe I was expecting something along the lines of the little I knew about New Order, and what I got was Joy Division minus Ian Curtis. Yes, that’s basically the band, but I was not expecting that. I was disappointed.
Well, this is more like it. It feels like New Order are their own band now. Not only would you never mistake Sumner’s voice for Curtis’ (which was true on their debut as well), but you wouldn’t mistake this band’s music for Joy Division’s.
Yes, the influence of Joy Division is still present, but that’s true of the vast majority of British post punk made in 1983 (or any other year in the early ’80s). But there’s a definite move towards more danceable music and away from more of the punk edge. The other thing that is differentiating is their musical palette, which is broader than Joy Division had ever used. Yes, Joy Division relied on keyboards and percussion on occasion, but nowhere to this extent – and I don’t think they ever used programmed beats like this. (It also helps that the recording sounds significantly different – and better – than Joy Division’s albums do, which has a lot to do with using a different producer, themselves, instead of Joy Division’s producer.)
The melodies are pretty strong – stronger than their debut, if I remember correctly – and the lyrics are decent enough.
For the first time, I get the hype. Though hardly to become a favourite post-punk band of mind, I finally get why people like them.
All tracks written by New Order
- “Age of Consent” 5:16
- “We All Stand” 5:14
- “The Village” 4:37
- “5 8 6” 7:31
- “Your Silent Face” 6:00
- “Ultraviolence” 4:52
- “Ecstasy” 4:25
- “Leave Me Alone” 4:40
- Bernard Sumner – vocals, guitars, melodica, synthesizers and programming
- Peter Hook – 4- and 6-stringed bass, electronic percussion
- Stephen Morris – drums, synthesizers and programming
- Gillian Gilbert – synthesizers and programming, guitars