This is my first T by T in a while, so this will not appeal to everyone.
Rising from the ashes of the great 70's gloomy dance rock Joy Division after the death of frontman Ian Curtis, New Order took on the role of depressing dance group in the eighties. Arguably the most copied band in history, New Order's sound consisted of synthesizers, drum machines, distorted bass and violent guitars. With the release of their most successful album Power, Corruption and Lies, New Order had a tough album to follow with. Making a more depressing sound helped with the creation of this album, and in 1985, Low-Life came to reality, and assisted in the growing music scene that was almost elegant, but catchy at the same time. Low Life signaled a new era in music; the eighties synth scene that dissolved in the nineties. New Order were the top at what they do, and here's an example of how brilliant they are.
New Order - Low-Life
Released 1985 Warner Brothers
: The first song on the album represents the album well. Starting with a pronounced bass, harmonica and eventually a faint guitar and drum machine. In comes the vocals, frail and almost sarcastic. The chorus is nothing especially different, but has a catchy bass hook and some nice, pleasant lyrics:
I Want To See My Family, My Wife And Child Waiting For Me
This song repeats, but you should really listen to the whole thing, because it's really a spectacular and the first of only two happier songs on the album. An overall nice song, complete with a speed guitar outro.
The Perfect Kiss
: The song that I originally hear and what got me into this album. A bass, dramatic keyboards, a drum machine and speed guitar occupy this song throughout the whole thing, and the result is pretty much the best song on the album. A little bass breakdown boasts a guitar solo riff but brings it down to fit the song, which again goes into the chorus with a stressed performance vocally, and a heavily fragmented bass pattern make this even more enjoyable, and create a real atmosphere for the album. A percussion break only can add to the song, and thats what the add with... frogs. A long lull of keyboards gradually erups into a bass-infested bridge, and a cowbell playing along, which exits the song with an instrumental part, which is what makes me love this song so much.
This Time Of Night
: With claps, operatic keys and a fast paced drums, this technologically advanced piece makes it cool to be living in the eighties still. Which could be a problem, because you might get influenced to dance along to it, which would be a mistake seeing as you would look like an idiot. Enough filler, this song is a rather dramatic song that includes double bass pedals, and ailing vocals and a guitar playing a signature eighties riff. This song has some rather breathtaking elements, especially the faint keyboards, which make this song that much more enjoyable, and deep, Joy Division inspired vocals. Overlapping vocals at the end makes a dramatic ending. Another flawless song.
: This song marks the midway point on the album. After about :40 of keyboard filled opening, the song erupts into a catchy, octavating bass pattern and rhythmic guitar playing chords. The vocals enter, and sound every bit as pained as the music. This song is another depressing song, that also inspires the eighties persona in all of us. A chorus filled with indivdual guitar and keyboards, and the introduction of the real first drumset. This song is 6:00, so there's bound to be something that can hold your interest in this song, and it's the bridge with talking-over type vocals, another tragic but wonderful bass pattern and a sole guitar playing up the neck gradually. Such an amazing song to listen to. This could have easily been the ending, because it's just that epic.
: Starting with creepy keyboards and a following guitar, this song has a rather beautiful side to it, complete with vocal-type keyboards and a guitar pattern that is similar to the bass pattern, a climbing pattern in the keyboard, and a lack of vocals. Before you know it, you're halfway done the song, and the whole thing continues on such an epic level that you have to sit and listen to the whole thing attentivley or you'll miss something. What else can be said about this song, other than that it's an instrumental epic with overlapping keyboards, similar bass-guitar riffs and the occasional synthesized symobls? Doesn't that just spell amazing? It does to me. It's over too soon, even though it hits a respectable 5:00.
Sooner Than You Think
: Another rather mellow piece, Sooner Than You Think sounds like alot of the other songs, but adding jungle-esque percussion and even a 70's disco inspired keyboard riff, a distorted guitar playing scales and quiet but rewarding if you listen to it bass, this song has a chorus that showcases vocals more than anything else, hinting at "romantic" intentions:
Oh, you know what I need, yes you do
A breakdown from the guitar enters, and the song has a tendency to go right by quickly. An overall average song, but still nice to listen to. A guitar solo is the main interest holder here.
: This song features earlier bass patterns, most notably from Blue Monday, a Gloria Gaynor inspired keyboard pattern in the chorus, and sad lyrics. A breakdown features interesting chord changes and a kind of a continuation guitar riff that follows the keyboard. This song has really good elements musically, most notably a percussion break, a guitar solo, and a nice to listen to bass, but it's the lyrics and vocal stylings that keep you on this song. A powerful performance by New Order, and one of the most depressing songs on here.
: An upbeat song, this has some nice keyboard effects and bass patterns, but this is actually a step down from the other songs that made this album so brilliant and, essentially, trend setting. As stupid as this may sound, New Order can't really do happy songs that good, at least not as good as their more depressing songs. The extremely catchy bridge makes this song worth listening to. This concludes the album, which is a shame because a much more epic song such as The Perfect Kiss would be more suited to finish an album of this status.
This album has it's highs, which soar, and it's lows which aren't really that bad, but it all balances out to make an extremely enjoyable, gloomy, upbeat dance album that well continues the legend that bands such as Joy Division first made popular.
Peter Hook: Bass
Bernanrd Sumner: Guitar, Vocals
Stephen Morris: Drums, Synth
Gillian Gilbert: Keys
Thanks for reading!