on 6 January 2003
'Get Ready' is one of the few albums I've bought recently which I've enjoyed right from the outset and without a period of 'growing on me'.
This is a definite return to form for New Order, especially after the curate's egg that was 'Republic' (when it was good it was good, otherwise ...) and the rather limp 'Best Of/Rest Of ...' collections.
What we have here is basically 9 absolutely blistering tunes plus 'Run Wild', definitely the odd man out but proving that New Order can pull off the acoustic ballad when they want to. That said, if you're looking for a dancefest in the vein of 'Technique' then you're going to be disappointed - this is very much a guitar/drums/bass-driven album with occasional bits of keyboard by way of sonic decoration. And it works. Beautifully.
It's difficult to pick any standout tracks; the single "Crystal" sounds most like 'typical' New Order, with Peter Hook's bass soaring over fuzzed-up guitar chords, 'Rock the Shack' is a down 'n dirty track featuring Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie amd 'Primitive Notion' sounds an awful lot like the Joy Division of old (listen to the intro ...)
Whilst the film '24hr Party People' undoubtedly renewed interest in bands like New Order (and the Manchester scene in general), and hence this album, it would have stood out even without this extra bit of publicity - it's that good.
Definitely worth a spin.
on 3 January 2002
WHAT A RECORD!! I love New Order music but, after the disappointing "Republic"(1993), I thought the band had nothing to say anymore.I was wrong: "Get Ready" is one of the best records ever made!
There is everything in it: Bernie's unique voice and lyrics, Hooky's bass, Joy Division riffs...that "New Order spirit" that makes even the simplest things sound GREAT!!
Ok..they're not great musicians,their songs are not particularly difficult but they've got a strength and a special something that you can't find anywhere else. New Order are just New Order:when they act seperately (Monaco, Electronic..)they are just "ok", but when they all get together they are simply SUPERB!!
Crystal" is one of those songs that makes you wonder all the time why you feel it's so special and why you keep on singing it 24h a day.
"60mph" is pure gorgeous pop!"Turn my way" is so strange and beautiful, while "Vicious Streak" is so catchy and intense. "Primitive Notion" is the perfect Joy Division single of the new millennium.
"Someone like you" is one of the best new wave songs ever written, maybe the highlight of the album,together with "Crystal", "Vicious streak" and the last two songs of the album: simply "delicious".
It's definitely the best New Order album(at least as good as"Tecnique"(1988).It's one of those records without a weak moment,that gives you a powerful,intense and emotional time:it's worth waiting for another 8 years if the result is another great album like this. Things change..but New Order are still New Order!!
on 6 January 2002
New Order? They were Joy Division, right? That peculiar outfit backed only by the likes of John Peel. Not worth bothering with? Outdated has-beens? WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!
This is one of the most finely crafted rock albums I have EVER heard. The opening track, Crystal, starts with weird-woman wailing, and no hint of the powerful driving beat that is going to hit you in a few bars. The effect is quite literally, stunning.
When they try the same trick on the next track, 60 Miles an Hour, you fall for it all over again. This is the track that you will find yourself whistling as you go off to work in the morning.
You get a respite for the next 2 slower, more introspective tracks, then its back to the fierce driving rhythm for the rest of the album, except for the gentle love song that is the last track.
This band would be the child of a union between U2 and The Cure (feel U2 in track 4, and The Cure in 5)and has upstaged both its parents. Dont overlook the lyrics, either. Trite, they are NOT.
BUY IT! You will not regret it for a moment.I cant get enough of this!
on 4 September 2001
For a new New Order album, how ready could people that already knew the band be? Finally, after so long a wait, some of the best New Order material makes its way to the population. No, I'm not a Manchester ring-in, or wannabee. Get Ready, (and Crystal), have made it to the shores of Sydney, Australia, and not a moment too soon. I cannot believe just how beautiful Turn My Way is, and how different Crystal is to historical New Order singles, while still keeping the New Order feel and sound. While Rock the Shack may not really be what I'd expect from New Order, I'm happy enough that they have tried to vary themselves, in small quantities, with some Jam influences. This Album is not just another dole out of the same. Instead, it retains what the bands music and lyrics are all about, their distinct sound, and adds new layers and depth. To call it a mature sound is foolish, they already had a mature sound. This is New Order. There is always another layer, always just out of sight, until they themselves decide to let it slip...
In some respects, it's a miracle this record exists. Whilst New Order have never been the kind of band to really ever go overboard - despite the drug fuelled psychosis and financial haemorraging of epic proportions, they never ever came to blows. The worst they ever did was sulk and just not talk to each other for years.
In the timeline of New Orders career though, this, only their seventh studio album, is undoubtedly the band in the second half of their career. Though between the four members they boast a total of 28 albums under various guises, they are hardly prolific - New Order have released just two albums (and a bunch of remixes) since 1989. It seems as if inertia and underachieving solo projects are just too damn tempting. And so, to GetReady. Though GetReady for what?
The first thing is, nobody could dare call this innovative or cutting edge. Every previous New Order record started to break new ground, seemed to suggest a future, look forward. Sometime in 1994 though, it seemed the rest of the world overtook New Order. Listening to Blue Monday still sounds revelatory, some 18 years later. But Crystal? It's a great song. But nobody could dare listen to it and think even for a second "hey, nobodys done that before!" the way that they might have done when Joy Divison gave punk an intellect with Transmission, or New Order invented indie-disco with Blue Monday, or made the only decent football record ever with World In Motion.
GetReady marks the first, slight fall from grace in the New Order catalogue. It's a nostalgic sound, harkening back to the 1985-86 era of the band with big rock songs, and sparse, minimalist instrumentation. It's closest relative is LowLife - a sleek, organic thing.
The cover is the first sign that something may be slightly askew in NewOrderLand - the elegant, mysterious suggestiveness of their other covers is obliterated by a prosaic portrait of an unkempt girl. No thermal images of statues, fake Bold packets, or fake floppy discs for this lot. It just feels - bland, drab, compared to the inventiveness of previous work.
Open up the CD and it feels roughly the same. Crystal is a wired, zippy thing. Fun to dance along and sing to, but hardly revolutionary. See, when New Order weren't moving, they always moved me. But now they seem almost stuck in the same place - a bit of a one trick horse if you like. But what a trick.
Even the titles are so linear - every single one of them, excepting Slow Jam, has a title clearly heard in the song. For most New Order albums, the titles have nothing to do with the song. It's all part of the charm. Just try and find a reference to the song in the titles to Technique for example.
60mph is next - and like, much of the album, it sounds like the bassist from also-rans Monaco, the singer from Electronic, and the drummer from The Other Two. Hardly inspiring on paper is it? In effect this is a rerun of every New Order solo album since 1990 onward, with added fizz. The lyrics are still awful cat on a mat/that's got a hat/it sat like that/saw a rat/keyboard fill and wobbly bass nonsense, but there's something, in the gut, that's inherently thrilling about this record. Even though it's the worst New Order album for 18 years, even a bad New Order album is still head and shoulders about most bands finest achievements.
And to be fair, full credit to them for trying - even though it sounds ever so slightly dated. There's no shortage of energy here - and tracks like Close Range and Primitive Notion still provide an adrenalin rush that people half their age can only dream of producing. Are you listening, Travis?
There are some belters that are infused with the energy and power of New Order at their peak - that give me tingles. Turn My Way (with a suprisingly well-integrated appearance from Billy Corgan), Crystal, 60 Mph, Primitive Notion, Close Range would - whilst sounding hopelessly out of place in a club environment - show a thrilling understanding that most music is heard at home that days, and sound fabulous in your average living room.
But the album does have some shortfalls. Rock The Shack, with guests Primal Scream, is without doubt, an absolutely pitiful rewrite of Shoot Speed Kill Light from Prml's XTRMNTR album - same speed, same bass, same guitar lines, and only new lyrics which seem to have been tossed at random from a rhyming dictionary. Run Wild - sounding oddly like She's The One - is a hollow ballad. "Good Times Around The Corner" for a chorus? Somewhat odd for New Order that. Someone Like You is just fluff. Then again, the last record I heard that didn't have a single dodgy track was made in 1994.
It could've been worse. Right now, New Order could be slogging their guts out on package tours at Arenas up and down the UK with a truncated line-up performing four song sets on a cabaret circuit supporting other nobodies from the worst decade in history, as a part time holiday from their office jobs, dealless, hopeless, and desecrating any memories we may have had.
And so, overall. What is Get Ready? As I said before, that this CD exists is nothing short of a small miracle. That it, despite its shortfalls and the odd duff track, the lack of innovation (though New Order have, to be fair, done more than their fair share of groundbreaking work), the prosaic cover, dull titles and lazy lyrics, there is still something deep and vital locked into the grooves, something that excites both them, and gets my hair standing up when I listen to it.
Like most other New Order records, I suspect it'll only show its true worth in a few months, when I suddenly realise that, cut from the time it was made, it becomes timeless. It sound like it could have been made both anytime, and at no time in history. Outside of history. Come to think of it, New Order have always done whatever they always wanted. And isn't that why so many people love them?
on 25 September 2001
The band who brought us the thinking person's dance music return with a veritable tour de force, and practically blow the walls out with a rockier, rootsier feel.
The New Order album this resembles most closely is 1986's 'Brotherhood', right from the rampant (and increasingly catchy) opener 'Crystal'.
'60 Miles an Hour' rocks in all the right places before an ecstatic 30-second burst of widescreen keyboards and Hook-driven bass sends it rocketing skyward (possibly the finest point on the album).
The best song is either 'Vicious Streak', 'Primitive Notion' or 'Crystal', and despite what some reviews have suggested, there are no duff tracks at all!! Indeed, the album's continuity matches the band's best ever offering (1988's 'Technique'), but make no mistake - New Order are back to ROCK.
If you're trying to avoid buying a sub-standard New Order album, there isn't one - though if pushed, you'd be better off steering clear of 1993's 'Republic' - and even THAT was sublime.
Cherish both this album and this band; they are the best we have.