New Order – Waiting For The Sirens’ Call

New Order gets a lot of media attention at the moment. Because of their album, because of related news like the upcoming Ian Curtis movie and also because of the many contemporary bands inspired by 80’s postpunk and new wave music. New Order will always be compared to their past creations. I just try to enjoy their new album, without expecting a new ‘Blue Monday’.

I’ve already read very mixed reactions about “Waiting for the Sirens’ Call”. After various listening turnsI give the album the benefit of the doubt, partly because it’s New Order, partly because there are just enough nice tracks that I enjoy. Of course the album does not sound revolutionary, all the familiar New Order elements are present. At times the songs are a bit too much on the safe side though.

Compared through the previous album ‘Get ready’ the guitar rock elements are much less prominent. The new album mostly contains uptempo electronic pop, sounding somewhere between new wave, disco and electro, usually simple but effective. In general the style is quite light and poppy and fresh, I think this is New Order’s most accessible album.

Some tracks are really too poppy for me, like ‘I told you so’, with its black female backing vocals and reggae elements, though I must admit Hook’s bass line is infectious. Luckily other songs convince me more, like the energetic dancerock of ‘Morning night and day’, making me think of Primal Scream. ‘Dracula’s castle’ is a very pleasant poppy guitar song, with typical New Order melodies and bass, guitar and synth sounds. The single ‘Krafty’ is a decent, solid piece, which remains in your head after repeated listening.

The track which is most likely to drag me to the dancefloor is the powerful ‘Guilt is a useless emotion’, somewhere between classic disco and trendy electro pop. This screams for a remix 12″, though it’s a bit out of place at the album. The same can be said of last track ‘Working overtime’, a garagerock piece, which would have better as a B-side.

“Waiting for the Sirens’ Call” is not perfect and it’s not New Order’s masterpiece, but I don’t regret having bought it, since these guys with an average age around 50 still make better songs than most young acts on the block.

artist: New Order
label: London Records
details: 11 tracks, 56 min, 2005