New Order
Power, Corruption and Lies


4.0
excellent

Review

by Old Uncle Al USER (86 Reviews)
March 16th, 2006 | 41 replies | 12,165 views


Release Date: 1983 | Tracklist


3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Rising like a phoenix from the ashes of the world-famous dance punk group Joy Division after the suicide of legendary frontman Ian Curtis, New Order dominated a good portion of the eighties with their infectious songs and undoubtedly influential stylings (New Order were probably the most mimicked band at the point). Consisting of Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris for the first two albums, New Order became one of the world's premiere groups, among such acts as the Police and Blondie, all sort of in the same genre. Their first album Movement failed to catch on as quickly as Power, Corruption and Lies, but Movement was still a mourning album. An album that was too dark for radio audiences. Forgetting the past wasn't easy, but New Order pulled it off and released the platinum-selling album; 1984's Power Corruption and Lies, an actually rather depressing record, though often thought of as a glad album, celebrating life. But below the surface is one of the darkest albums ever. It's still a mourning album, but just more subtle.

The album has it's fair share of repetetive tracks, though there aren't enough to bring this album down. Of course, it's entirely over-rated sheerly for the fact that it has one of the most successful singles of the eighties on it (the powerful Blue Monday), which brought alot of people on to New Order's music. There are many tracks, however, that are better. For example, one of the strongest tracks on the album is We All Stand is a rather dark song, boasting mournful bass and synthesized guitars, as well as one of the few tracks on the album with actual drums, which actually is a rather impressive perfomance. The vocals are very slow and painful, expressing his pain of, well, you really can't make it out but it adds a great affect to the song. The song doesn't really change, but it's really nice to listen to, and does a decent job of showcasing New Order's darker side. Another noticable track is Leave Me Alone, which has sad bass filtered through an enjoyable filter and the guitar which is really a very good point on the album. Breaking from sullen riff to full out chords with suspension, which really fits the song brilliantly. The drums are real, though they have that drum machine affect to it, which is really interesting. Ending at a short 4:40, it leaves a good effect on the album.

Well, it had to happen. Blue Monday is actually not the best song on the album, despite it's eternal place in dance-rock history, and a Mars Bar commercial. I'm sure you've heard this before. It's the one with the funky down up down up up bass pattern, the harmonizing choir vocals, the complex drum riff with a few double pedal appearances, and the haunting vocals:
Quote:
How does it feel, to treat me like you do, When you lay your hands upon me and told you who you are
Though there's two versions of this song on the album. There's the vocal-included Blue Monday and the instrumental, harmonica free The Beach, which, in my opinion, is more enjoyable than the vocal one. Both songs reach over 7:00, which allows maximum freak-out dancing (which, unfortunately, died in the eighties). What else can be said except timeless? Maybe a tad over-rated, but what the hell it's a great song.

There are only a couple songs that I don't quite like on this album. 5-8-6 is a boring song, and overly long, clocking it at about 7:30. There's nothing really good about the song. It's quite clearly a song that didn't have as much though put into it as most others on this album. A boring bass riff, a synthesizer, a lack of drums and an occasional annoying guitar fill really makes this almost unlistenable. Speaking of which, the next song that really doesn't leave a good impact on the album is the unexciting Ultraviolence which sports a never-changing/ending bass riff with an occasional Police-esque vocals (it's really not as good as it sounds), and an extremely boring guitar riff that just goes on and on. The percussion is acceptable, but again it's way too repetetive. Nothing else can be said, except that it could've been cut down about , well, at least two minutes, making it an at least decent length, making it more acceptable. 4:51? Hardly. It seems like a good 8:00, which is not a good thing. Most New Order epics are a good 6:00-8:00, but at least they are entertaining.

There you go, a brief outlook at one of the eighties most influential albums, a medley of bass hooks, chanting vocals, mourning guitars and drum (machines). Sure, it's dark, but it helps you get to feel the pain that they're feeling, even a couple years after Ian Curtis' death. But one thing can be sure; Ian sure as hell would be proud of New Order.

New Order:
Bernard Sumner: Guitars, vocals
Peter Hook: Bass, vocals
Stephen Morris: Drums, percussion



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Comments:Add a Comment 
tom79
March 16th 2006



3364 Comments


Great Review, I haven't heard much from the album though, with the obvious exception of Blue Monday. I'll probably check it out.

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

morrissey
Moderator
March 16th 2006



1688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is a really good review. I agree with Sylvia - you get better and better with each effort. Keep it up!
This is possibly my favourite New Order album though I haven't given it much thought. I usually adore 3-4 songs from each album and couldn't care less about the rest. Which is why I usually find myself listening to their Greatest Hits rather than their albums, of which I have a few. I really need to pick up Substance though, I think it might be my best bet in terms of overall quality.

morrissey
Moderator
March 16th 2006



1688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

But I would struggle to agree with your classification of Joy Division as a "dance punk" band. This Message Edited On 03.16.06

Zebra
Moderator
March 16th 2006



2647 Comments


This review is good stuff but the quote was unneeded. I've heard a few New Order songs without really knowing about it, I suppose they were enjoyable but I dont think I'd actually go out and buy one of their albums.

Two-Headed Boy
March 18th 2006



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well, gosh. Thanks alot, guys!

NeoOrder
March 10th 2008



25 Comments


Brilliant album, but the album sounded better without "Blue Monday" and "The Beach", ie the British release, because "Blue Monday" is so similiar to "5 8 6"

goneshootin22
August 3rd 2009



142 Comments


Cool review, but wasent Gillian Gilbert playing synth with the band at this time? And I think you really should of mentioned The Village and Age of Consent. Other than that, pretty good job. My favourite off the album is probably Leave Me Alone. I love how the bass and guitar compliment eachother on that tune.

random
August 9th 2012



2260 Comments


"Blue Monday" is good.

bloc
August 9th 2012



34679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

King band

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
August 9th 2012



6369 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Seeing them tomorrow

Digging: Shackleton - Deliverance Series No. 1

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
August 9th 2012



6369 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Also, is this the American tracklist? Because I'm pretty sure Blue Monday wasn't on the original British version

bloc
August 9th 2012



34679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh you lucky fucker. I thought their touring was a limited time thing but it's nice to know the band is still at it. I doubt there will be a new album though : (

And yeah, this must be the American tracklist.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
August 9th 2012



6369 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hehe :]

someguest
September 1st 2012



20376 Comments


album rules

Digging: Your Old Droog - Your Old Droog

foxblood
November 23rd 2012



6797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

damn no comments wtf, band/album are godly

oWhoadYo
December 16th 2012



1224 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Blue Monday is the greatest dance song ever made.

And Leave Me Alone is utterly gorgeous. Possibly their best song.

someguest
December 16th 2012



20376 Comments


No, their best song is the 7" version of "Confusion".

Goatlord
December 19th 2012



405 Comments


one of my favorites to smoke to.

oWhoadYo
December 19th 2012



1224 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You smoke to New Order? That's pretty tough.

foxblood
January 4th 2013



6797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Age of Consent is such a perfect opener



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