And just like that, a brand new New Order album! Music Complete is their first since 2013, and is notable for a complete lack of Peter Hook, who grumped his way out of the band a while back. A fresh, Mute-worthy sound, wrapped up in a typical Peter Saville sleeve! Available on double LP (only black vinyl now) and CD!
- Deluxe LP box set £69.99
- Sold out.
- Shipping cost: n/a
- NormanPoints: n/a
- BXSTUMM390 / Limited coloured vinyl 8LP box set on Mute. ONE COPY PER CUSTOMER
5/10 Clinton Staff review, 23 September 2015
While Joy Division made some of the most depressingly beautiful records of all time, this version of New Order is just downright depressing. The pre-release fanfare from various publications (that would appear to be on New Order’s payroll) have deemed it "the best New Order album in 25 years". Not a difficult proposition since everything they have produced since ‘Regret’ and much of ‘Republic’ has been 50 different shades of atrocious. It’s also sad that a band once so creative have since spent most of their time splitting up and reforming only to finally split in two Pink Floyd style with each slagging the other off through the media. They’ve certainly put a lot of effort into this new record though. Bernard Sumner has stayed away from his yacht, they’ve drafted Gillian Gilbert back in and they’ve severed all ties with the troublesome but musically essential Peter Hook.
Opener ‘Restless’ tries to be ‘Regret’ but is hamstrung by awful lyrical couplets ("I want a nice car, a girlfriend who is as pretty as a star"). The last minute or so though is pretty much the best moment on the album as some lovely the Smiths-like guitars take charge. ’Singularity' is the sound of an old band trying to be youthful -- the musical equivalent of the once static and moody Sumner dad dancing and whooping his way through half-arsed ‘covers’ of ‘Atmosphere' live in concert. I’m horrified by ‘Plastic’ - a track I enjoyed the first time round when it was called ‘I Feel Love’ by Donna Sumner - with clunking chorus showing all the production subtlety of Holly Johnson’s ‘Blast’. ’Tutti Fruity‘ meanwhile has quite a decent chorus and sounds as good as a track off ‘Technique’ would do if it were produced by Stock Aitken and Waterman. And what’s with all the Italo-house piano? The ’80’s New Order were always looking forward for the next thing, the 2015 New Order are soundtracking 'The Hitman and Her’.
New Order always had huge dance floor elements but it was mostly tempered by their clanking post punk leanings in order to create minimal and sleek electronic pop. The Savage Garden styled nadir of ‘People on the High Line’ (sample lyric: “sometimes I think I cant go on, sometimes I’m a setting sun”) is followed by some vaguely Joy Division sounds in the opening strains of ’Stray Dog’. Unfortunately these icy soundscapes have narration by Iggy Pop doing his best William Shatner impression over the top. A waste of space.
For some reason now they’ve got all this shit out of their system things pick up a bit. ‘Academic’ is certainly better, driven along by those chunky acoustic guitars of yore it’s a much more mature sound whilst harking back to their greatest dark pop moments. A good song -one out of seven so far. Actually make that two...”Nothing But a Fool” is also enjoyable despite typical Sumner clunkers (“she was in my mind as I drank my wine). Perky closer 'Superheated' finishes the album on an uplifting note featuring Brandon Flowers and striking at the sweet spot between New Order and Take That.
So the question is… how does a band once so good get so bad? I don’t think they are phoning it in - I think they have genuinely tried with this album but are labouring under the misapprehension that bright production will make up for a lack of inspiration and a missing bass lord. There are however a handful of moments that salvage something from the mess particularly in the later stages of what is a very long album… but still.
2/10 Brendan Rosehips Tulips Customer review, 13th October 2015
Sorry, to poop on the parade but..... this ain't New Order as we knew and loved. It's actually Bad Lieutenant With Gillian.
First impressions are always important however : the LP/CD album art is utter crap to begin with. How did I guess that it would be YET ANOTHER MOSTLY WHITE COVER with centred type? Has Peter Saville really lost his marbles? Consider this: every single New Order album / compilation released since 1993's "Republic" (with the notable exception of "Lost Sirens") has featured uninspired artwork with the aforementioned emphasis on white. This appears to be a running theme....unless, of course, Peter Saville's art direction guys are merely representing through the album art something which we've long suspected for years now: that both band and sleeve designer have run out of ideas. I have seldom seen such lazy, desultory packaging - whither the classy designs of the Factory Records era? It's enough to make you weep.....
The music.....you really want me to tell you about the music? Well it's pretty ordinary, very safe, not exactly innovative or ground-breaking - but then what did you expect? To be really honest, it's about as exciting as the second and third Electronic albums. Which weren't very good to be frank. Hooky has long done a runner and started to snipe bitchily at the rest of the band, whilst forming his own Joy Division/New Order tribute act called The Light. Fair play to him, at least I don't feel obliged to have to listen to him or watch him playing live and grunting through the old JD/NO classics anyway. But as a formerly huge JD/NO fanatic, hearing this bland perfunctory stodge (and why is every song so bloody long f'chrissakes??! Whatever happened to prudent editing?) makes we want to long for something *really* off-the-wall like the dreadful Bobby Gillespie guesting on backing vocals again, clapping his hands out of time to the beat. No such luck this time, instead we have Foghorn Flowers from the execrable DrillerKillers guesting on the last track, and some old moose-faced Cro-Magnon called Iggy Pop (yeah, really, whatever!) making out he's all sinister and moody and dark on another. Ho bloody hum. And then some other young whippersnapper - whose name I have already forgotten (can't be arsed checking the credits) - doing vocal duties on another eminently forgettable track.
At almost 66 minutes long, this is a test of endurance to say the least. It's their longest abum ever...and pretty close to being their LEAST essential - even more so than the two-part "Sirens". Me? Well, in an attempt to clear my memory of this unfortunate aural aberration, I'm going back in time, if only to remind myself of a period when they could actually - metaphorically - walk on water. And I'm whacking on to my turntable their one and only truly *great* album that came in a white sleeve, which, as everybody knows, captures them at their consummate best. Can you guess which one it is? Here is a little clue: it came out in 1987.
7/10 TrueFaith87 Customer review, 28th September 2015
Considering New Order didn't do interviews very often, Factory rarely pushed the advertising button and they decided to sign to leftfield indie label Mute; This is one of the most hyped releases I've seen in ages. I like many fans have been waiting a long time for new material and since listening to the album I'm part excited and part disappointed.
I saw them live in both 2011 & 2013 where they seemed to have really got it together. The old songs were revamped and sounded astounding (especially 586). They have worked with a number of cutting edge artists so I was hoping for a little more invention rather than reinvention. Some bands continue to push themselves (The Charlatans, Wire, Bowie) but New Order are now seeking inspiration rather than being inspiring.
Yes, Hooky's bass is missing and you can tell it's needed but this is NO v.2 and when it's good it's good. Plastic, Singularity, Unlearn The Hatred and Academic are highlights. Why have they had to have Iggy drone all over Stray Dog and when The Killers ruined Shadowplay, you would have thought Brandon Flowers would try and make up for it?....... Oh no!It's like hearing a terrible Killers track accidently put on the end of the record. Saying that, we New Order fans will buy it and I hope new fans do too so they know they are more than Blue Monday!
6/10 Larry Customer review, 28th September 2015
Well the best thing Mute have done is to put the absolute stinkers together on Side B of the vinyl (must remember not to accidentally turn it over in case Tutti Frutti or People On The High Line ever bleed into my ears again) and then the track with that twat from the Killers as the last track so you can get up and turn it off.
Other than that it's a perfectly acceptable later New Order album complete with mock-Hooky basslines and some truly terrible lyrics, though nothing as bad as Rock The Shack. I'll buy it as I'm a fan and the 3 sides of music make it a more acceptable length, but I can't imagine anyone who doesn't hold Technique and Power, Corruptions and Lies close to their heart will be bothered by it.
5/10 Stevieboy Wise Customer review, 28th September 2015
Wow. new, er, New Order. Something a long term fan should be excited about.
If you've followed them over the years from the ashes of Joy Division, the early baby steps of New Order, the mainstream uproar caused by Blue Monday, the consistent quality of those early/mid/late eighties albums, the 'poppier' less angry New Order in the '90's and the bold yet confused attempts to maintain in the naughties, then you may just about understand this album. I'm having trouble with it as are others, all evident from the other reviews here.
The music press somewhat confusingly has regaled it as the second coming of 1989 New Order (as the Ibiza dance electronics are back to a certain extent.) 'Technique' sure was a long time ago now but it was the last of New Order's focused, consistent and accomplished albums throughout, something that I definitely can't quite get from 'Music Complete'.
BUT- To disagree with Clinton from Norman Records comment (much as I love you all at Norman Records!!) - 'Plastic' is a standout track, to be enjoyed as the nearest to 'Technique' as we are gonna get these days. Yes the Moroder influence is in there, but it's a recognisable nod to an influence. Even Giorgio himself can't quite move on from making that sort of sound. Enjoy it for what it is, an attempt to get dancing like you used to but only managing a bit of dad dancing and slopping your beer around more than you did when you were younger. Barney still manages a lyrical 'snarl' over some dance music so the ethos is there.
Personally, the horror begins with 'Tutti Frutti' with only a smattering of old New Order glimpsing in on what are basically a very disparate collection of pop songs, with the 'guest star artists' only adding to dilute and distract from the New Order core. It indicates that New-New Order enjoy making pop songs (and why not) but to their long established fanbase desperate for the angry/beautiful/uplifting soaring epics of old, then we are out of luck.
Why buy it then? I hear somebody ask (possibly?) If you are a long term collector of New Order output then why not try it. If nothing else then if you are an elderly (ahem) hipster vinyl collector, why not get the clear vinyl - very nice to look at when you are playing the one/two sides worth playing...
The Peter Saville sleeve is, well, different, not exactly his most beautiful when you think of the other New Order/Factory releases he has designed for. Also more annoyingly, if you do buy the vinyl - it comes with a '12 page booklet'. Sadly not full of info about the recording of the album/band photos etc. It has a blank page with a repeated black and white sleeve design page next to each blank page!! What the??!!
This bodes well for the pricey deluxe boxset, each track on a 12" (good luck with that one!)
Overall, us old fans have to realise New Order are a 'pop' band now making pop records neither moody nor emotive as the once did.
8/10 John Lewis Customer review, 27th September 2015
Probably the best and most important band of the '80s, New Order had long been off my musical radar. Recently however I have been revisiting some of their finest moments and my interest was renewed. So when I read they had made an actual new album , on clear vinyl too, I had to give them another shot. On first listen I have not been disappointed. The throbbing baselines from Peter Hook are sadly missed but Gillian's glimmering pop synths are back and some. This album is awash with Gillian's synths and this created a great foundation for Bernard and the band to scale towards those peaks we never believed we could hear again. It's all here-searing rhythms, catchy choruses, Bernard's simple but always effective lyrics and that driving beat. Can't wait to see them live again. :)
6/10 Stuart Hatcher Customer review, 26th September 2015
Ok so caveat and disclosure. I'm a massive New Order fan. First ever gig I went to was a New Order gig (in 1989 if you must). I even once completed a NME survey question on "which band would you like to see reformed?" with "Pre-1989 New Order" and so i'm going to give this album the benefit of the doubt and will like it as I have done and do all their others (save for the pile that is 'Republic'), and the thing that sprang into my mind when I heard this first (on 3rd listen now) is the scene in Gavin and Stacey when Dawn is asking for a view on the ring that she's been bought by Pete to reaffirm their vows and she's asked Pam to tell it to her straight (its' a ring that you can turn one way for a P (for Pete) or a d (for Dawn) in lower case style and is truly horrific) and the first thing that Pam blurt out is "oh my christ!" such is the shock of how truly bad it actually is not thinking it could be.
So in short from me, this album will appeal and maybe appease New Order fans as they will love it because they are New Order fans (personally I think that 'Get Ready' and 'Waiting for the Sirens Call' both have far superior moments on those albums and are better albums overall) but this isn't going to break any new ground, its not doing anything new or interesting, its not going to be a reference point for artists in the future nor win any new fans.
Biggest credit must be to the press team at Mute who seem to have managed to get every major piece of press to say this is verging on a masterpiece. It isn't. You'll like it if you are a New Order fan, just about. But you'll not keep on reaching back for it I fear.
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