March 26, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 41°F


Review: New wave band releases vibrant album

New Order, the hallowed forefathers of the New Wave genre, may be experiencing some internal strife, but the music keeps coming. After reuniting in 2011 without founding member Peter Hook, the band has released a formidable compilation album coming in the form of “Lost Sirens.”

“Lost Sirens” picks up the pieces from the cutting room floor after the band finished recording its last proper album, “Waiting for the Siren’s Call,” back in 2007. This compilation may feature tracks that didn’t quite make the grade for that album, but they certainly stand on their own six years later.

This compilation maintains a healthy balance between New Order’s electronic and guitar-based influences. The two are melded together seamlessly, which allows both to be heard, but neither overpowers the other.

To witness this harmony, listeners need to look no further than opening cut, “I’ll Stay With You.” Softer electronic motifs shadow vibrant guitar lines and create a beautiful ode to loyalty. Lead singer Bernard Sumner professes his dedication when he sings, “I’ll stay with you ‘til Hell freezes over / We are to each other like sister and brother.”

“Shake It Up” represents the token dance number found on this compilation. While most other tracks straddle the border between rock and dance, this cut is unabashedly dance oriented. Snappy percussive elements lay down a strong groove, as synthesizer blips dart in and out. Sumner urges listeners to abandon their humdrum lives as evidenced by the chorus, “Does it ever feel like your own life / Watch it on TV like you’re standing on the frontline.”

“Lost Sirens” may be only eight tracks, but it stands proudly among the jewels of New Order’s catalog. This compilation stands as a testament to New Order’s legacy when these tracks are considered leftovers. Listeners are certain to question how these songs went unused in the first place.

3 ½ stars