November 2, 2001

Same Game, New Century

Print More

New Order is used to breaks and rebirths. There have been many in the band’s lengthy career, beginning with their rise from the ashes of Joy Division in 1981(after the death of vocalist Ian Curtis), a split from 1990 to 1993 while its members pursued other interests, and the just-concluded eight-year hiatus that ended with the release of their new album Get Ready. Now these Manchester natives are ready to remind the 21st century populace just who brought electronica to the masses.

Armed with their signature blend of techno beats and post-punk mood, the new disc feels like an introduction to ’80’s pop for a new generation, or rather a final swan song in a career that has now spanned three decades. But making their mark will be difficult in 2001, as many people can’t name a New Order song or describe their sound. If music fans are wary, New Order has the stamp of approval from two pale-skinned, bald-headed musicians still fresh in our minds: Moby (who included them on this summer’s Area: One Tour) and former Smashing Pumpkins frontman, Billy Corgan.

For those needing a benchmark of similar bands, think Depeche Mode and Duran Duran. If you are still unsure, put in Trainspotting and fast-forward to the club scene where Renton meets Diane (the background song is “Temptation”). The industrial/metal band Orgy even covered their 1983 hit “Blue Monday.”

On this album, the leadoff track and first single “Crystal” moves a little more vigorously than most New Order fare, with its grinding guitar riff and melodic bass line. The video for the song features a performance by a group of twenty-somethings masquerading as the band,