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Complete Music

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Album Review

For Music Complete, New Order's ninth album and first in a decade, the band signed to new label Mute and welcomed keyboardist Gillian Gilbert back for her first recordings with them since 2001. Unfortunately, original bassist Peter Hook, who quit in 2007, didn't return and his bass duties were taken over by Tom Chapman, who played with Bernard Sumner in Bad Lieutenant. The return of Gilbert is a clue that the band is looking to the past for inspiration here and forsaking the guitar-driven rock orientation of its last couple albums for something more balanced, if not tipped in favor of more electronic and dancefloor-oriented songs. To that end, they brought in Chemical Brother Tom Rowlands as well as Richard X and Stuart Price to produce tracks. Not the most daring or forward-looking choices for collaborators, but their efforts result in some of the album's highlights. Rowlands invests "Singularity" with some Chemical Brothers-style punch, while "Unlearn This Hatred" has a passionate, almost industrial drive. The Richard X-mixed "Plastic" is the most new wave-sounding moment on the record, full of sparkling surfaces and fueled by some retro sequencers. Elsewhere, the bandmembers take it upon themselves to craft songs that have more joyful bounce than one would expect from them. "Tutti Frutti" is a tricky bit of electro-disco with a rubbery electronic bassline, some vintage keyboard wash from Gilbert, and a vocal cameo by La Roux's Elly Jackson. She's also on "People on the High Line," which is probably the funkiest track they've ever recorded, with finger-popping bass, house-y piano, and a beat that pulsates like a hot N.Y.C. summer night. The rest of the album features guitar-driven songs that are more in line with New Order's recent output, with "Restless" capturing the feel of their classic early tracks. [The album was released in a deluxe box that included a 2LP set of extended versiuon of all the songs from the album. The set was later released seperately as Complete Music.]

Customer Reviews

More of what made these songs great!

The extended versions add a new dimension to already excellent tracks. So much better than remixes. Well done New Order!

Let's Play the Screw Our Fans Game

Real fans already bought half of these songs for the same price. I'd expect more from New Order.

Excited for the extended versions

Oh boy, Extended mixes, hope they turn out good!!!!


Formed: 1980 in Manchester, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Rising from the ashes of the legendary British post-punk unit Joy Division, the enigmatic New Order triumphed over tragedy to emerge as one of the most influential and acclaimed bands of the 1980s; embracing the electronic textures and disco rhythms of the underground club culture many years in advance of its contemporaries, the group's pioneering fusion of new wave aesthetics and dance music successfully bridged the gap between the two worlds, creating a distinctively thoughtful and oblique brand...
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