NEW ORDER: Music Complete: CD












Music Complete is New Order’s tenth studio album, and it’s the first batch of new songs they’ve recorded since 2005’s Waiting For The Sirens’ Call. This is the first album since the departure of bassist Peter Hook and reintroducing original keyboardist Gillian Gilbert back into the fold.

“Restless” is their leadoff single and is a little bit mellow, but still a very good song with a nice groove to it, but “Singularity” is a real corker that should have started the album. It is faster and has more of those old, peppy dance songs that they do so well. “Plastic” is another fantastic track that gives you a lot of the classic music they have put out, but still keeps things very much modern. You also get La Roux’s Elly Jackson on the great tracks“Plastic,” “Tutti Frutti,” and “People on the High Line,” Iggy Pop on “Stray Dog’” and longtime fan and friend Brandon Flowers on “Superheated.” The band have really gotten back into the mindset of putting out an album that gets you dancing, but also thinking about their lyrics. The music takes you back more into the ’80s, but not in sound, but in style of the album.

A great release that will have you singing and dancing along to the songs for a long time. Don’t worry, that guy who isn’t in the band anymore isn’t missed too badly since new bassist Tom Chapman handles those duties quite well.

ERASURE: The Violet Flame: CD

Erasure’s The Violet Flame is the sixteenth studio album by this English synthpop duo and has ten new tracks written and composed by Andy Bell and Vince Clarke. The Violet Flame will be released as a standard CD, a deluxe 2-CD, a digital download, and a limited edition 3-CD box set.

I have been a fan of Erasure since I heard them when their first album came out and I have seen Andy Bell singing solo on Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Tour in 2008, so I was really looking forward to an album of upbeat synth pop tunes and they delivered. It truly is a return to what they do best, a mix of fast dance songs and a bit of slower tracks that all get stuck in your ears and get you up and dancing.

“Dead Of Night” opens the album with a trance-like intro, which soon evolves into thumping beats and an immediate club/dance-floor feel, and makes for a very upbeat start to the album. “Elevation” is the lead single from the album and is already available to stream and buy and is another upbeat dance track that has a real Euro-pop sound that didn’t grab me as much as the previous song, but still it grew on me the more that I listened to it. “Reason” has great opening piano notes that quickly give way to a bubbling beat which compliments the joyous vocals of Bell, with uplifting lyrics and a really infectious bridge and chorus. “Promises” has pulsating synths and club-like bass that would feel at home on the dance-floor. “Be The One” is a heartfelt and beautiful song that actually choked me up on the first and repeated listens.The haunting opening is interspersed with a deep bass line joining the mix, and Bell’s vocals are incredible and it brought to mind a touch of Yazoo. This is my favorite song of theirs in a long time and is an instant classic! “Sacred” has pulsating synths and trance-like notes that builds up to an epic track that has a club feel to it, and would sound amazing on the dance floor. Of the last half of the album, I liked “Paradise” with rhythmic synths and thumping beats making you want to get on the nightclub dance-floor, and “Stayed A Little Late Tonight” being a nice mid-tempo track which closes the album in a beautiful way.

Many of the songs have thumping beats, the production is slick, the vocals are strong, and I was particularly impressed with the lyrics on this release. The lyrics are still dominated by love and relationships, but it just seems that they’ve got things going better on here than on some previous releases and I’m sure fans will be ecstatic. This is an album that I’ve been waiting a long time for, and Erasure delivered a home run.