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Old 09-09-2016, 10:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Apr 2014
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Default Power, Corruption, and Lies by New Order

With the synth pop round in the Big Four Bands thread coming up, I finally have the motivation to get to the band New Order. It came as no surprise, but I can sense the Joy Division similarities immediately. I was disappointed that the vocals were nothing compared to Curtis, but I suppose the synth pop feel called for a cheerier and more soothing voice. So the voice is good enough, and it fits. Still, I can't listen to this album without guessing how their music would have turned out if Curtis was still alive. Would these songs have been released under an official Joy Division studio album? And would Joy Division have steered into the rising synth pop scene? It's true that many synth pop bands carry post-punk themes, so it's likely.

“Age of Consent” was like a big reminder hat the band continues without their late friend, as if the bass and the drums were reminders of the greatness of their original band. Still, the song's emotional state was a perfect equilibrium between sadness and happiness, creating a sort of yin-and-yang of mixed emotions that greatly enhanced the song's quality. “We All Stand” felt like an almost complete turn around. Its aura was much more mysterious, and lightly experimental. It felt a little less like Joy Division, and I don't think it would work as well as a Joy Division song. It seems to be more fit for new wave rather than post-punk. But it was a great song nonetheless. It's aura fit the estrange guitars very well, as if the notes were all part of an enchantment. “The Village” steers farther towards the synth side of the album, very cheery and energetic like some sort of parade. It's an odd sort of song that lets the music do the singing. However, I feel that kind of makes the lead vocals to be unnecessary at times, as if Bernard Sumner was just a fan in the background singing random words to an instrumental. In short, his singing couldn't keep up with the instruments. He needs backing singers. “5 8 6” starts out with an interesting, low key intro that gets pointless at the end, and then the rest of the song follows as a completely different kind of song: a very danceable synthpop extravaganza. The intro didn't fit at all. The song was pretty good, though.

“Your Silent Face” was much more like it. Although it was a clear synth pop song on par in tune and construction with Kraftwerk, it had a similar emotional aura to Joy Division. It seemed to resonate with me in its own unique way. I felt very comfortable listening to it. “Ultraviolence” seemed to carry a more experimental form of drumming while the guitars and bass hum together like a choir. It was energetic and engaging until the very end when it faded out. “Ecstacy” carried a similar vibe, and a really cool intro. Even through its synthesized vocals and electronics, I could sense the vibe of Joy Division running free again. Isn't it so cool when the auras of Kraftwerk and Joy Division go together so well? My only complaint was that it didn't really end well. It's like the song built upo itself and in the end, I never got a “grand finale.” “Leave me Alone” ends the album with an almost alternative/jangle pop sort of composition, still being high in quality. And Sumner's singing carries a similar feel to Ian Curtis' vocals.

Anyway, it's clearly one of the best synth pop albums out there, but so far, the onply one I can give 5 stars is Violator. I'm looking, though. And I might enjoy PC&L more after I expose myself to other New Ordr albums and get more used to their style. Listening to music is like watching movies, the more you play it, the more you pick up on. At first, I didn't get Joy Division. I started to get why their so good a while back, and maybe this album will act the same way. The only difference s I can still give this five stars, but it just barely made that rating to me.

95/100.
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