Album Review: New Order–Music Complete

Review by Sean Lynch

RIYL: Joy Division, Pet Shop Boys, The Cure

Song Recommendations: Track 1–“Restless”, Track 6–“Stray Dog”, Track 11–“Superheated”

Grade: B


Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris still carry the identity of Joy Division, but short one original member. Peter Hook left New Order to work on other projects; leaving the band with one less original member. Music Complete serves as the reconstruction of New Order. The addition of bassist Tom Chapman added some new blood to the band. With a new lineup in hand, New Order took on the idea of trying to stay true to their original sound without losing what they had as a band before Peter Hook left.

“Restless” creates an atmospheric feeling. The song starts off with a quiet twinkling and breaks off toward traditional rock.The guitar plays a large part on the track, taking control and bringing all the components together. There are no real modifications to the sound, so it comes off as natural.

“Stray Dog” begins with crickets, but turns into a diverse sound. Incorporating the use of an electronic drum set and synths, New Order creates a bouncy track. Iggy Pop feels like he is just tossed among the track. Pop is known for his spoken word style of vocals, but it sounds weird for synthpop, rather than his usual punk music.

“Superheated” emphasizes the textbook sound of dance-rock. Brandon Flowers of The Killers makes a huge contribution to the track with his gentle vocals. The fusion of old and new comes together almost seamlessly. The dance style beat combined with the synths is similar to some of the earlier material from The Killers.

There seems to be something missing though without bassist Peter Hook. The basslines that we received off of Power, Corruption & Lies and Get Ready just aren’t there. New Order doesn’t feel like a tired relic though. With Tom Chapman playing the bass and Bernard Sumner still jamming out. The band still give off the notion that they have energy, and are willing to continue on. Music Complete shows that the band is willing to stay with it and continue to perfect their craft.


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