This LP comes in for a bit of undeserved flak from NO fans- mainly because it has very slick, commercial production, and because Hooky's bass is uncharacteristically absent throughout much of the set.
I personally don't think either of these factors are a problem- in fact, this is one of NO's best sounding albums- New Order's music has always needed good sound quality to do it justice (poor production let down both "Movement" and "Brotherhood"). Hague does a great production job for the most part, and the polished sound is perfectly complemented by Peter Saville's glossy sleeve artwork.
The opening side, kicking off with the superb "Regret" and closing with the sparkling "Everyone Everywhere," is as good as anything in the band's back catalogue. If the album deserves criticism, its because of the second side, which is a little underwhelming- "Chemical" in particular, is best forgotten- but it's by no means unenjoyable. "Special" stands out as a perfect example of NO's melodic melancholia, and the instrumental "Avalanche" is an understated (and underrated) closer.
Although it's often written off as sub-standard, it's a much better album than NO are given credit for. It would be easy to be seduced by its slick, commercial allure and pass it off as a superficial pop album, but no amount of sonic tweaking can disguise NO's brand of sombre, bittersweet melody, which is evident throughout, and this is what gives the record its punch. Instead of whingeing about how NO don't sound like Joy Division anymore, the listener ought to take the album on its own terms. (And anyway, at least its better than "Get Ready.")