The Kiss of Death

September 3, 2010


New Order

For those two people who may be reading these (I think I’m actually inflating that number), my decisions on what albums to review are based on Entertainment Weekly’s Top 100 albums of the Past 25 Years.  I think this is one of those entries that bewilder me; New Order were never ones for strong albums.  Most people cite Substance, their greatest hits album, as their best and even that album has some low points.  Low-Life’s only bragging point is that it has perhaps the worst lyrics ever put to disc.  Fortunately, these lyrics are accompanied by great beats. “Love Vigilante,” while being a great folk song (try finding Laura Cantrell’s version) makes little sense….like how did the government screw up and tell someone her man’s dead when he was perfectly fine—that’s not a topic for a dance song, that’s a lawsuit waiting to happen! “Perfect Kiss” is just a disgrace:  “Staying here and going out/Tonight I should have stayed at home/Playing with my pleasure zone” Really??  Things get better with the intense “Sunrise,” and the lovely (and instrumental!) “Elegie,” presumably written about Ian Curtis.  Speaking of Ian Curtis, he sure wasn’t inspiring anyone from the heavens to write anything close to his angsty poetry—he must have been too busy working with Robert Smith at the time or some such.  Strangely enough, if “Blue Monday,” gave New Order naysayers something to chew on, Low-Life somehow confirmed to critics that they weren’t just making money off of Joy Division’s reputation.  The album was well-received and the band went on to make 5 more albums that were equally respected. 


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