Review Summary: The "Movement" from Joy Division to New Order2 of 2 thought this review was well written
In 1980, right as Joy Division was poised for major commercial success, Ian Curtis (lead singer) committed suicide. The three remaining members of Joy Division re-formed as New Order. Very shortly afterwards Gillian Gilbert (Stephen Morris's then girlfriend) was added to make New Order a 4 piece.
Released in 1981, "Movement" is the sound of a band in transition from the post-punk sound of Joy Division to the synth band New Order would become several years later. Most people don't especially care of this album for those reasons: it is neither Joy Division (due to Curtis's absence), nor New Order (if you compare it to their later work) Furthermore, when most people think of New Order they think of Bizarre Love Triangle, Blue Monday and the various other mid-and late-1980s dance synth-pop singles they released, so this album will seem alien to many New Order fans.
Therefore, "Movement" is just about the best name you could give to an album for a new band a year after your previous lead singer has died and you plan to escape the previous works.
I, however, really like this LP because of its diferent vibe from Joy Division. Many songs are arranged like their later pieces would be arranged (when they became a synthpop group), but the technology available to them hasn't caught up and because of this, the sound is not the silly 'Cheesy' synthpop sound that would fill the 80's mainstream.
This album is solid from start to finish. The shadow of Curtis looms over the album- neither Bernard Sumner nor Peter Hook sing with his confidence (but who does?) and many of the songs sound like what the next Joy Division album would have sounded like.
I think this album isn't as strong as either one of the 2 Joy Division albums (Closer or Unknown Pleasures) but it sure has a "Joy Division" mood about it: Dark and gloomy.
The only thing that prevented this from being recognized as a good solid album, is the fact there wasn't any singles released in this album and many people still wouldn't be used to the transition from Joy Division to New Order.
My recommendations for this album:
Recommendation 1: "Dreams Never End"- A typical post-punk sound which is the length of any average pop song, yet the guitars, bass and drums sound fantastic. Should have been a single.
Recommendation 2: "ICB"- Rumoured to be an acronym for "Ian Curtis Buried" If this is true, the song is a fitting song to dedicate about Mr Curtis, as this song sounds like one of the songs off their album "Closer" but with a few rather strange effects added in.
Recommendation 3: "Truth"- A sinister song, with a fantastic bassline to it and haunting synths, but occasional bursts of guitars, again, very similar to the work off "Closer"
Recommendation 4: "Doubts Even Here"- Even more sinister than "Truth" It starts off similar to a Durutti Column track, but builds into a slow, funeral-procession like paced guitar track. Steven Morris' drumming is exceptional. Peter Hook sings in this track and "Dreams Never End" and his voice sounds ubelieveably dark and in a way, a bit like Ian Curtis.
Although I've recommended 4 of the songs off the album, I could easily recommend them all, the one little problem I have is that New Order never continued with the sound of this album and indeed of "Power, Corruption and Lies" two years later.
Well worth a listen if you enjoy listening to Joy Division.