New Order Mastered Their Craft; Didn't Master Their Latest Release

The last time New Order recorded an album was ten years ago—which is a shame because ten years will likely leave a band drained. As a result, "Music Complete," New Order's tenth album, isn't completely unnecessary but is more empty than complete.

The song "Stray Dog" features an entirely pointless vocal guest spot by Iggy Pop over a decent backing track. The tone of the vocals is of interest, but nearly every lyric in the song is pretentious garbage. It's nice to hear Iggy on record, but this is a terrible song.

That’s not to say the album is all bad or all filler. "Singularity," the greatest song on the album, felt like filler for a few listens, but with the song's pulsating groove contrasting the dark lyrics, the song popped out after a few listens.

Most of the album stands in the middle of terrible ("Stray Dog") and great ("Singularity"). At its best the album is a step towards the alternative dance New Order became famous for. A feeling of emptiness permeates the album.

In 2007, Peter Hook, the bass player, left the band. Despite his replacement being solid, the band won't be the same. In another sense the band, even if Hook remained, could never be the same from the 1980s. Although, the album isn't a masterpiece, it's a middle of the road statement by a band that has mastered their craft.

Jeffery Petrone
Music Reporter / The Record

Jeffery Petrone is a music lover who would speak in music if he could, but he can’t.