Review #119: New Order – Music Complete

Artist – New Order
Album – Music Complete (2015)

Check it out – https://open.spotify.com/album/5q9e0KBDIjiRBYWXxaWVAG

New Order are a rock band from Manchester, UK. The band formed in 1980 after the untimely and tragic suicide of their previous bands (Joy Division) lead singer Ian Curtis. Currently New Order consists of members Bernard Sumner – vocals/guitar/synth, Stephen Morris – drums, Gillian Gilbert – keys/guitar, Phil Cunningham – keys/guitar and Tom Chapman – bass/synth. The only other member to be in the band was Joy Division and New Order co-founder Peter Hook who left in 2007 to form Peter Hook and the Lights. With a 35 year legacy behind them and 9 albums, New Order are ready to release their most recent piece of work ‘Music Complete’.

New Order were a tour de force in the 80s, releasing financially and critically successful albums one after another, however in the 00s this hasn’t really been the case. Music Complete features guest vocalists in the form of quality, rather than quantity, including Iggy Pop, La Roux and Brandon Flowers (The Killers). By quality I mean well known names, as Iggy Pops performance in ‘Stray Dog’ especially isn’t quality, simply featuring a rough kind of spoken word quality throughout, which doesn’t fit the pop electronic sound of the track. A few of the songs, ‘Restless’ for instance, do have something catchy about them and are well written, siding more towards soft rock, but still with that new-wave electronic instrumentation. Then the bands more experimental side comes out with the track ‘Tutti Frutti’ (featuring La Roux), which is a complete misstep, featuring seemingly random vocal moments and an overall cheesy pop style that would end up in tesco’s bargain bins if it didn’t have the name New Order on it. If I were to recommend a couple songs they would have to be the intro track ‘Restless’ and ‘Superheated’ featuring Brandon Flowers.

‘Music Complete’ is really an ironic title, due to the fact that the album seems 50% complete. Half of it includes well written, catchy, authentically New Order tracks. Whilst the other half features cheesiness and experimentation that the band should have left maybe as B-sides.

6/10

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