Whilst internal differences were making fresh material from New Order seem as likely as Carlisle United attracting Pele out of retirement, Peter Hook got on with what he knew best. Making music. And damn fine music it was too. Whilst Bernard Sumner co-founded Electronic....... Their debut 'Music for pleasure' had it all. Hookys trademark lead bass pounding at every opportunity, the tracks 'What do you want...', 'Shine' and 'Junk' were equal to anything latterly produced by New Order, lush electronic synthesizers and guitars abound. Minor complaints regarding Hooks attempte at lead vocals on 'Junk' and 'Sweet lips' soon paled by the beautiful 'Tender' and superb last track, the powerful instrumental 'Sedona'. Critics said Potts vocal style and deliverance were too close to Sumners (indeed a valid point but a criticism?!)and fair enough Hookys vocals are somewhat suspect. The point is being missed. Because any tracks on this album could easily grace a New Order album, and an excellent one at that. What higher recommendation? So sit back and enjoy. Still, now New Order are back together again what chance Pele for Carlisle?
I just recently (a month ago) came into the world of Joy Division, and of course loved it. I still have heard nothing from New Order, but somewhat surprisingly I've been a great admirer of "What do you want from me?" for years, since I first saw the video on the Spanish TV when it appeared (so, more than 10 years ago). That song is mesmerizing, strong, lively. The intro, with that bass suddenly thumping, and then the Sha-la-la bit are as uplifting as anything I have ever heard. So I bought the CD, and was very nicely surprised. This Music for pleasure is a great CD. All the songs are very good, and are very different one from another, so you never get tired of listening to it. We have here dance tunes (Junk, Sweet lips), nice slow tempo ballads (Blue, for instance), and songs that sound like Oasis (Buzz Gum). Even a follow-up to What do you want from me? (I mean Under the stars). All I can say is, after this, and Joy Division, I look forward anxiously to lay my hands on some New Order stuff.
Cut to the quick.... excellent upbeat inoffensive pop. Very nicely crafted songs littered with the excellent guitar work of Peter Hook - you'll certainly recognise the New Order in 'em! Highly recommended!
Who knows whether New Order will ever produce any more music? If you can't wait, buy this instead - it sounds like an extra bundle of tracks that could have been released as part of "Republic". Catchy, snappy, not too deep or original but very entertaining nevertheless.
Most people will have heard and liked 'What do you want from me' - well this has more of the same. It's not all great of course - what is? - and you have to put some effort in to reap the rewards. My favourite track is Junk - great to dance to (I suspect). Monaco, of course, are a spin off from the relentlessly brilliant New Order so you can't go far wrong.