An in-depth look at 'Get Ready', the group's first album in eight years...
As reported on NME.COM yesterday (June 13), NEW ORDER unveiled their new album, ‘GET READY’ (set for release on August 27 through London/WEA) at a playback in LONDON.
The album will be preceded by a single, ‘Crystal’, on August 13, and the band are expected to confirm details of a July date at Liverpool Olympia tomorrow morning (June 15).
Here is NME.COM’s track-by-track guide to the album.
Characteristically downbeat, ‘Crystal’ is the sound of a big New Order comeback single – moodily mid-paced, growling metallic guitars and backing singers, not to mention much improved vocal abilities from Bernard Sumner. Peter Hook’s bass is still present along with Sumner’s constant ‘whoops!’. The song, seemingly about a relationship, features the lyric: “We’re like crystal”.
2. ’60 Miles An Hour’
Possibly a second single, ’60 Miles An Hour’ is a bouncier, remix-friendly track. Hook’s unique bass sound is even more prominent, and the track enjoys some big production treatment. Featuring the lyric “I’ll stand by your side/Like I always do”, it maintains the slightly depressing relationship problems theme.
3.’Turn My Way’
Featuring Billy Corgan’s voice and a Pumpkins guitars sound, this is perhaps the most blatant stab at US success. It begins with a crashing, Pumpkins sounding noise and Corgan’s voice, before Sumner’s own vocals kick in. It’s still a tuneful New Order song, but Corgan’s influence occasionally takes it into American rock territory.
After three fairly punchy songs, ‘Vicious Streak’ is a slower, keyboard-dominated song with sharp beats. The drawn-out, instrumental start is reminiscent of the ‘Elegia’ track on New Order‘s ‘Low Life’ album, but Sumner does eventually provide some vocals to accompany the shimmering, laid back electronic sounds.
Back uptempo, this is noisier, more dance friendly and could have been the much-talked about collaboration with the Chemical Brothers (which is not currently on the album). Slickly produced and more pacy than the previous songs, Hook’s bass is almost absent until the final moments.
6.’Someone Like You’
Soft organ sounds and smooth New Order grooves feature alongside an acoustic guitar on ‘Someone Like You’, a track which has a possible Motown influence contributing to its unusually chilled but funky vibe. Even Sumner’s occasionally iffy lyrics (“We’re having the time of our lives/ We’re lost in a cruel paradise”) can’t detract from the pristine production.
This starts, oddly, like a cheesy chart ballad. But the catchy ‘Sabotage’ is soon invaded by a multitude of sounds – guitars, electronics, vocals – which make for a darkly mixed-up New Order song. It’s also further proof that they’ve moved on from the dance influence which was dominant on 1993’s ‘Republic’.
8.’Player In The League’
The only embarrassing moment on the record, this is New Order‘s (too late) bid to provide the theme music to the new ITV ‘Match Of The Day’. Jangly with a slick Pet Shop Boys production sound, ‘Player In The League’ is a follow-up to ‘World In Motion’ and Bernard Sumner’s moving tribute to his beloved Manchester United. But that’s no excuse for lyrics like “I can see you everywhere/ In the ground and in the air”.
New Order have often produced instrumental album tracks and this is the closest they got on ‘Get Ready’. Apart from Sumner’s almost spoken vocals, this sounds like a quieter moment from their ‘Low Life’ album. But then for the second half it goes all Britrock, with guitars straight off of Oasis‘ ‘Definitely Maybe’.
11.’Rock The Shack’
A chaotic, Stooges-style jam with Primal Scream, this features Bobby Gillespie on vocals and sounds similar to ‘Shoot Speed Kill Light’ – the Scream‘s song from ‘Exterminator’ which featured Sumner on guitars. Splintering guitars combine with noisy vocals and a chorus which simply repeats the words “Rock the shack”.
After the previous 11 collisions of guitars and electronic sounds, this is an unexpectedly mournful acoustic ballad. Probably closest to their 80s song ‘Love Vigilantes’ in its weepy oddness, this is clearly inspired by Sumner’s family situation with the lyric “When I’m alone I think of you and how you’ve grown”.
Verdict: Last time around, dance music had virtually taken over New Order‘s sound. But, once again, the Manchester band have incorporated the sounds of the moment and decided that rock is back. This is a surprisingly modern, well-produced album and a defiant answer to critics who might have said that New Order are past it.