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New Order

'Music Complete' (MUTE)

8/10

  • S Worthy
  • 18 September 2015
New Order

The music world is built on hyperbole. But sometimes there is stone-cold fact. Like this one: New Order changed the face of modern music and shaped club culture in the UK and beyond. The Mancunian legends' first LP without Peter Hook is their 10th of a 35-year career that now sees them deliver, in 'Music Complete', an album of outstanding pop, shuddering dance-rock and intricate electronic moods.

Opener 'Restless' is classic New Order: big chords, even bigger hooks, jangly guitars and the sound of bass player Tom Chapman laying down the sort of low-slung, hammering rhythm the previous incumbent trademarked. Guests include La Roux's Elly Jackson, Iggy Pop and The Killers' Brandon Flowers (who named his band after a fictional group in a New Order video), while The Chems' Tom Rowlands produces two tracks and Stuart Price co-produces another.

Rowlands and Flowers contribute to 'Superheated's glorious, soaring stadium pop. Elsewhere, Italo pianos decorate both the Liquid Liquid-style post-punk of 'People High On The Line' and 'Tutti Frutti'. Here, Bernard Sumner goes head-to-head with Jackson on a hazy, spiralling disco-house stormer that references classic house and even 'Voodoo Ray'. The other stand-out, 'Plastic', uses Moroder-style keys to create a neo-Balearic classic.

A runaway victory for class over hype.

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