Waiting for the Sirens' Call

Studio Album by released in 2005
Waiting for the Sirens' Call's tracklist:
Who's Joe?
Hey Now What You Doing
Waiting for the Sirens' Call
Krafty
I Told You So
Morning Night and Day
Dracula's Castle
Jetstream
Guilt Is a Useless Emotion
Turn
Working Overtime

Waiting for the Sirens' Call review

New Order have nothing to regret. If they'd broken up when Ian Curtis died, they'd still be remembered as Joy Division. If they'd broken up after the 1982 single Temptation, they'd be remembered for the most achingly emotional seven-and-a-half-minute New Wave disco twelve-inch of all time. If they'd broken up after Low Life, in 1985, they'd be remembered for the most influential electro-vampire post-punk limp-wristed goth-twit album of the 80s. But they didn't break up. They just keep making brilliant new records and inspiring brilliant new bands (Bloc Party and The Killers spring to mind to name but two). If you've somehow managed to go through life without discovering what all the fuss is about them, listen to this now and catch up.

Today's New Order isn't the same as the classic line up that bestrode the 80s. Gillian Gilbert has long since retired to motherhood, her place taken by former Marion guitarist Phil Cunningham, which has led to a less synth-based sound than their heyday. Yet this hasn't led to a drop in quality - Waiting For The Sirens Call is their best effort since 1989's Technique and if it doesn't quite match that opus, well not many records do. Bernard Sumner still sings and strums with his boyish air of distractable pique. His secret is his sincerity, the way he whoops and yelps through blood-curdling poetry that a more clever singer would shame himself trying to play straight. But he'd be nowhere without Peter Hook, the Keith Richards of the bass, and drummer/pinup boy Stephen Morris. They outdo themselves with the sleek pop uplift of Krafty, the robot clank of I Told You So, the moody shimmer of Turn and the towering title track.

Lead single Krafty has already divided some fans for its poppy nature, but as soon as Peter Hook's trademark, low slung bass sound creeps in it's clear that this is vintage New Order. Another radio-friendly moment is the driving Turn with its catchy chorus. The jangly guitars give the song an upbeat quality but melancholy lurks just round the corner if the song is studied closer. The best moments on here equal New Order at their peak. The serene, gliding title track is just sublime, Sumner's reflective vocal sounding better than ever and striking just the right note between regret and wonder. The influence of Cunningham should not be underestimated here either - the closing track Working Overtime is unlike anything the band have ever done, a knockabout, almost rockabilly, guitar workout that Iggy Pop would be proud of. It's a magnificent way to end the album.

This is pristine, state of the art, pop: the usual perfect combination of great melodies and swooping atmospherics that you can dance to. It's like New Order's greatest hits but with brand new songs. Fashions come and fashions go; New Order still remain at the cutting edge. With so many new bands emulating elements of New Order's sound, it's heartening to know that the real deal is out there as a fully functioning unit, seemingly as happy to be together as they've ever been, youthful anger tempered by middle-aged maturity. And for the most part, New Order are functioning on all cylinders on Waiting For The Sirens Call. It far surpasses what nearly any other group could hope for: over two decades into their career, all of their original members intact, with an illustrious career behind them, New Order continue to sound confident – if a bit conservative – and relevant, managing to record an album that not only doesn’t suck, but is improbably good.

(08.06.2005)
Rate review4.23
Total votes - 13


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