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Lost Sirens

January 15, 2013 | Format: MP3

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By R. M. Ettinger VINE VOICE on January 19, 2013
Format: MP3 Music
Technically 'Lost Sirens' is a new album by New Order. Actually, the songs are old(er).

All eight songs were recorded during 2005's 'Waiting for the Siren's Call' (one of their overall best disks) sessions. While not included on that eight year old disk, the intent was to include them on the follow-up, which never happened.

In the last half decade (plus), Peter Hook allegedly left the band in 2007 and Bernard Sumner said he no longer wanted to work with / as New Order. In 2011, some of the original members reunited along with a new member or two.

I'd say 'Lost Sirens' was released quietly, but it is the U.S. and unless you spend your time in dance clubs (I do not), where else would you know that New Order had "new" music?

...and it is New Order, so while I enjoy their sound, it is not radically different album to album - and 'Lost Sirens' is no exception. Overall.

Starting off with "I'll Stay With You", it is classic / typical Order. Not a bad thing. The light guitar and the underlying synth, the similar drum beat and the all too familiar Sumner vocals. It is like visiting a good friend. Comforting and no surprises. As stated, this is not a bad thing.

Ditto with "Surgarcane" "I've Got a Feeling" is good enough, but nothing you're going to remember forever. ....and let's face it, I remember a lot of their music.

The two most interesting songs are "Hellbent" and and the very moody "I Told You So".
"Hellbent" has way more guitar on it than most songs they've ever recorded. This is a good thing. "I Told You So" has an early New Order or even Joy Division feel to it. It is a good album closer.
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This is a solid effort by New Order, which is made even better if we consider that the songs included here are leftovers from their last proper album (Waiting for the Sirens' Call - WftSC). It serves as a reminder of the greatness that was (is?) New Order, and makes us miss them more. Furthermore, considering that WftSC was a rather uneven album, this new offering is, probably, better than it.

This is a rather short album, with 8 songs, including a mix of an already released track. I do not think that it was ever finished properly: the songs all sound fine, but they are more straight forward rock offerings compared to the traditional NO efforts. Maybe they were meant to be the perfect-sounding demos, waiting for a rich production, to elevate them to the level of Technique or Republic. We'll never know, I guess.

Nevertheless, what we have here are 8 solid tracks that add to the legend of the band. Personally, I find Recoil to be the standout track, followed closely by Sugarcane, and I was extremely impressed by the mix of 'I told you so': New Order meet Venus in Furs (Velvet U) to give us an outstanding Spiritualized-sounding track. Everything else is solid though, starting track 'I'll stay with you' brings back memories of Regrets, California Grass is outstanding in its simplicity, everything is fine.

I remain unconvinced that New Order is not the best band ever, and I hope that they can put their personal issues aside and grace us with another offering.
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It's sad to think that this might be the last New Order album with Peter Hook. For a while after Waiting For The Sirens' Call, Bernard Sumner was riding high, claiming that the band had already written another album's worth of songs. But then Hook took his ball and went home, and the album never materialized -- instead, the leftover songs from 2005 were shoveled into this short mini-album and released in 2013 under a low profile.

But sometimes low expectations are a good thing: Lost Sirens is quite enjoyable, although it is padded with a pointless remix and even then comes in under 40 minutes. There are not too many surprises. Overall the sound is typical latter-day New Order, relying more on guitars than synths. Any of the songs could easily have fit onto either Get Ready or Waiting For The Sirens' Call. In fact, the first two songs echo the beginning of Sirens: "I'll Stay With You" is a heartfelt profession of loyalty like "Who's Joe?" whereas "Sugarcane" is a patronizing lecture to a young "superstar," who is instructed to "wake up, stop what you're doing right now, you've gotta be true," much like "Hey Now What You Doing" from the 2005 album. Except the lyrics here are a bit lazier (the chorus of "I'll Stay With You" contains the lines, "you're one of a kind / high on my agenda" -- I would say that this is a new low for Sumner, but honestly he had some pretty bad moments on Get Ready) and the music is overall pleasant and upbeat, but indistinct.
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A bit of a mixed bag, basically consisting of outtakes from their final album together 2005's(!) Waiting for the Sirens Call. Most are b-side material, however, there are two tracks that are absolutely necessary; I'll Stay With You and I've Got A Feeling: Both are terrific N/O tracks in a similar vein to their last two albums; Get Ready and 'Sirens. There are also two original mixes that are quite interesting: I Told You So and Hellbent, although, I personally prefer the original of 'Told and vastly prefer the previously released "remix" of Hellbent that appeared on the recent N/O compilation Total. Still, a must for fans and always great to have some "new" material from them!
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