The past year or two have been interesting times for bands that mattered more in the 80's. In 2004, The Cure and Morrissey both released albums that earned them more attention (read: blind praise) than they'd seen in years. Apparently, 2005 marks New Order's turn. The term "washed up" once again comes to mind, but to me it seems like New Order were never in the spotlight to begin with. Since their well documented start in 1980, they've remained just on the outskirts of pop culture, scoring two hits twenty years ago but never really becoming a household name in North America. Assholes would say that New Order could never reach the musical peaks they achieved with Ian Curtis in Joy Division. Those assholes would probably be right. Still, Waiting for the Siren's Call is the groups' strongest effort in quite some time, and it should serve as a karate chop to the neck of anyone who doubted the band's relevancy. Seriously.
The whole thing takes a few minutes to get going, with the decent opener "Who's Joe." But once it does, it's obvious that this is a more confident New Order than we've ever seen. "Hey Now What You Doing" kind of rips off R.E.M. but might be better, while the title track boasts more interesting songwriting than anything this band's done since Joy Division. The first single, "Krafty," is a positive dance song that could have been all over MTV if the band were young and hot. Later, the band busts out "Dracula's Castle" and "Turn," the two songs on the album that touch my special place and wind up on my playlist night after night.
Weirdly enough, the only consistent problem with this album is the same problem that just about every band had in the 80's. Everything, well almost everything, drags out for too long. This is petty, I know, but it does end up hurting the album. The longest (not by much) song on the album is the six minute "I Told You So," which sounds like Ace of Base but not as good. The album ends with the wholly unnecessary "Working Overtime," a song that would have fit in better on 2001's Get Ready, instead of after "Turn." Still, all of the songs here are suitable for what they are - reminders that New Order own your very soul.
I recently saw an ad for this album that informed people that New Order supposedly paved the way for bands like Interpol (who don't sound like this) and Doves (who I've never listened to.) It's as though the advertisers are afraid to let the music speak for itself. That's a shame because this album's dandy, and it should be able to win you over without any help. Unless you hate pop. Or British people. Then you'll hate this.
7.7 / 10
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