Album: New Order

Get Ready, London
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You'd think, after eight years away, that New Order would be brimfull of fresh inspiration, but Get Ready simply leaves one wondering what the impetus was that drove them to get back together. It's hard to imagine them excitedly phoning each other about any of these 10 songs, which mostly sound like half-hearted jams inflated beyond their station. They haven't just replicated the dance-pop of Technique and Republic: there are a few tentative steps back towards rock, but the methods chosen – after-the-fact grunge in "Slow Jam", ramshackle raunch in "Rock the Shack" – and their choice of guest vocalists (Bobby Gillespie and Billy Corgan) accentuate the album's dated aspect. The essential elements of the New Order sound are all present, but they seem devoid of purpose; and though Bernard Sumner hasn't lost his knack for naive observation ("Here comes love, it's like honey/ You can't buy it with money"), tracks such as the flimsy "Vicious Streak" and "Close Range" barely seem like songs at all. The best track is "Turn My Way", a paean to indolent outsider-dom that sounds like a dozen other New Order songs. "Don't want to have to work/ Like other people do/ I want it to be free/ I want it to be true," sings Sumner, glibly idealistic. But sometimes, not wanting to work just leaves your work unfinished.