New Order Get Ready

For many people, New Order is just a memory. It's been eight years since they released Republic, and in that time the members have released some forgettable albums with their side projects (Electronic, Monaco) and played a few gigs together for fun. Now that the time is right, New Order has released its seventh and most surprising album in 20 years. While the band has been on hiatus, the dance scene they helped produce became a major industry, which makes Get Ready a surprise, since it is a rock album. "Crystal" starts off quietly with some lady soul singers and then bursts into Stephen Morris's pounding drums, Peter Hook's trademark drooping bass lines and Bernard Sumner's crunching guitar. It shouldn't be much of a surprise, since they did begin their career as a punk band, but anyone hoping for their programmed beats and synth-led love songs will be a little surprised. However, if you know their history, New Order was never about sticking with what was comfortable. "Primitive Notion" and "Rock The Shack" both share the spirit of rock'n'roll, with the latter, co-written by Bobby and Andrew (Primal Scream), sitting nicely alongside Sumner's contribution to the Scream's track "Shoot Speed Kill Light" from last year. There are some familiar New Order characteristics devotees will be pleased to hear, like the soft "Turn My Way" (with Billy Corgan) or "60 Miles An Hour," with the traditional keyboards and uplifting lyrics ("I'll be there for you when you want me to, I'll stand by your side like I always do"). Get Ready is not the sound of a bunch of old musicians trying to sound young, it is the sound of four musicians recreating the magic they were known for years ago in a slightly different way. (London)