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Get Ready (2001)

On Get Ready, New Order, the band who wrote the immediate future of electronic dance music on 1983's omnipotent "Blue Monday", return ready to rock--there's nothing vaguely Arthur Baker or Balearic here. For the most part, Get Ready keeps the keyboards trim and unobtrusive and revels in raw drums and wires; Bernard Sumner's funk-inclined, scratchy dog-with-fleas guitars; Peter Hook's shin-level punk bass lines; sinuous human greyhound Steve Morris--possibly the thinnest chap ever to grace a drum stool--kicking the machines into touch and keeping time with clockwork proficiency. All that, and those finely conceived bittersweet melodies, plus some questionable phrases: "It's like honey, you can't buy it with money" sings Sumner on the otherwise splendid "Crystal", a natural, guitar-rock pop-song successor to the mighty "Regret". And if "60 Miles an Hour" is a mite melodically predictable, then "Primitive Notion" is a thrilling throwback to Joy Division's "Heart and Soul". Try humming that bass line, tapping out that drum pattern and then compare the line "Don't look at me with your critical smile" to Ian Curtis's "I observe with a critical eye". Whatever, there's a cracking chorus right up there in the naggingly memorable "True Faith" / "Love Will Tear Us Apart" category. Of the much-publicised collaborations (the Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan, Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie) it's the lusty half-Stones/half-Stooges leather-trousered swagger of "Rock the Shack"--with the Primal Scream frontman mewing like a lecherous tomcat--which steals the limelight. But in the grand old tradition of leaving the best until last, "Run Wild" is perhaps New Order's most touching moment--folky acoustic guitar, lonesome sentiment, teardrop melodica, the line "If Jesus comes to take your hand, I won't let go" and warm strings sweeping in to offer support like the touch of a much-cherished comfort blanket. Get Ready is a great album, one which secures New Order's future far further than they could have imagined.

Source: Amazon.co.uk Review (Kevin Maidment)