Get Ready (2001)
Every New Order record needs to be well digested before you can make an opinion of it. This is what I did, and now I feel I can make an opinion. Let's have a look at GET READY, New Order's first opus since 1993's Republic:
01 - Crystal: A terrific single to come back after eight years. The introspective opening keyboard sounds sound like it could be the following of 1993's Avalanche, which closed Republic. If Avalanche sounded like the sound of a band’s death, somewhat of a swan song, then Crystal's intro sounds like a rebirth. New Order have always been recognized for writing "f*ck off songs", and Crystal is one of them: «I don't know what to say, you don't care anyway» sings a very intense Bernard Sumner in front of very catchy backing vocals. Some cheesy lyrics that we could part with («here comes love/it’s like honey/you can’t buy it with money) do not ruin the song, which turns out to be excellent. Grade: A.
02 – 60 Miles an Hour: A great follower to the opening track. Very catchy tune. Confirmed second single. Will probably get airplay, but won’t probably do all that well on the charts, although that catchy chorus could stay in many people’s heads for quite a while. Simple lyrics. Won’t probably be labelled as a New Order classic. This is the kind of tune that you like instantly but that you get tired of quickly. Grade: B
03 – Turn My Way: The long-awaited collaboration between New Order and Billy Corgan comes out to be fantastic. Pure New Order, and pure Smashing Pumpkins too – both styles blend together perfectly, surprisingly. Very truthful and simple lyrics. Very beautiful song. A New Order classic without a question. Will certainly be the third single in the United Kingdom, and don’t be surprised if it comes out as the second single in North America. The waiting was worth it. Grade: A+
04 – Vicious Streak: How to describe this song? Smooth and atmospheric and melancholic. Great production on this other future New Order classic. Each time I listen to this song, I lose focus on what I’m doing and enter into some sort of a trance. Grade: A-
05 – Primitive Notion: Joy Division is alive. Joy Division meets New Order. I don’t know how to label that one. Great, great bass intro… and great, great drumming. Stephen’s drumming sounds like we were back to the days of Joy Division. For the very first time since a long time, we can hear the whole band playing on this one, as if it came directly from a rough jam session. The production on this one is outstanding again, and the chorus is very catchy. Out of the blue, that might turn out to be a single ladies and gentlemen. Grade: A.
06 – Slow Jam: Speaking of a rough jam session, that one, as its title suggests, came from a slow jam, but nonetheless the final product is great. That’s ROCK. Once again, a very catchy chorus. As weird as it may seem, it sounds like the Rolling Stones could have come up with such a song today if they were 30 years younger. A great candidate to be the fourth single from the album. Grade: A-
07 – Rock The Shack: The New Order song that doesn’t sound like a New Order song. Should be label this as a Primal Scream song played by New Order? In any case, this is the song that has been wrote in collaboration with two members of Primal Scream: Bobby Gillespie and… someone else. The mix of these two bands doesn’t seem to fit from a New Order fan point of view. I don’t think much New Order fans care for Primal Scream, really. But if you forget about New Order for a minute and listen to the song without pre-conceived opinions, then you realise that this is a great rock track. Very entertaining. I’d love to hear that one at a bar on a friday night. Grade: B+
08 – Someone Like You: Nice to hear a keyboard oriented song just to remind us the dual aspect of New Order’s music. «We’re having the time of our lives!!!!!» shouts Bernard. A phrase that we can surely associate with the feeling the band members have about their comeback. Nice duet by Bernard and Gillian. It feels right to hear her sing again. Also nice to have this type of variation on the album. It adds depth to it. All in all, a very nice song. Grade: B+
09 – Close Range: Alternative pop rock is alive and well. The type of song that will remain in the hearts of many New Order fans as one of their favorites. Top bass playing by Peter Hook on this one again. A nice edited/remixed version would maybe turn out to be what it takes for the fourth and last single off the album, and might appear to be a good competitor to Primitive Notion and Slow Jam in that respect. Grade: A-
10 – Run Wild: New Order meets… Jewel?!?!? As far as I can remember, the last time New Order used an acoustic guitar in studio was for As It Is When It Was as featured on 1986’s Brotherhood album. So after listening to such a high energy rock album, a New Order track featuring chords and acoustic guitar comes out as a complete surprise. Some would label this as being an attempt to do a «U2 type plain song». Some others will go sick when listening to Bernard referring to Jesus («If Jesus comes to take your hand I won’t let go»), which doesn’t sound much like New Order. Once again, I leaned back and tried to be as objective as possible and forget that I ever heard any New Order songs, and that one came to sound very good to my ears. One the initial shock is gone, I feel that most of New Order fans will be happy they wrote that song. I haven’t bothered to find the meaning behind any of the lyrics of the album, but it was different for that one. I wondered to whom it was adressed. It might be Sarah, Bernard’s girlfriend. It might be for one of Bernard’s children. I still do not have a clue. In any case, the songs ends with Bernard saying «I’m gonna live ‘til I die, I’m gonna live to get high». Aherm. Is that true, Bernard? Grade: B+
Overall, Get Ready deserves: A-
Great comeback for a great band.
Source: Sébastien Boisvert (NewOrderOnline Co-Webmaster)