Get Ready

New Order

Reprise, 2001

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


Get Ready is an album in which New Order has done what it has never done before in the last couple of decades of its career. As an avid New Order fan, I love its laid-back simple and unassuming techno, and Bernard Summoner's oblivious and impassive style of singing. On Get Ready, however, there is nothing such as a laid-back, simple, unassuming techno. As a matter of fact, there is hardly any disco at all! As far as Bernard's vocals are concerned, he is more passionate than ever before, and in fact, he rants in a lot of places.

Get Ready doesn't at all have the things for which I love New Order, but I strongly feel it is their best album of all time. Moreover, there is absolutely no doubt that it is way better than New Order masterpieces like Technique or Republic. This is a rock album of sorts. It is amazing how a pure techno band who never seemed to touch a guitar at all can create such a hard-hitting rock album, and with such aplomb and confidence. It seems as if this is an album by a rock band gone mellow rather than a techno band gone rock. Probably the folks of New Order might have learnt a lesson or two in rock from William Corgan Jr,. who was a part of New Order-live around the time Get Ready was released, and also features in this album. Billy's band, The Smashing Pumpkins, always seemed to be influenced by '80's British alternative sounds, with the typical style of guitaring in its mellower songs. With the new, face-lifted New Order, perhaps the protégé is repaying his mentors.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

All this while New Order always seemed to have an elusive and submissive attitude, but all of a sudden, they are angry and sarcastic. Bernard has never ever shouted "I don't want to change the world, I like the way it is, so give me one more wish, I can't get enough of this…", like he does in "Slow Jam," one of the most acerbic songs in Get Ready, where he sings in the coldest tone, the coldest lyrics he might have ever written. But, that's not all. In "60 Miles Of Hour," which has such a hummable chorus, it seems as if Barney, Stephen, Peter and Gillian have let their hair down after being uptight for so very long. One of the main songs of the album which is an exemplar of New Order's drastic transformation is "Rock The Shack," which resembles the Jesus And Mary Chain sound with all its mindless distortion and of course, its delightfully crazy sing-along chorus.

New Order might have changed, but it is still one of the best alternative techno bands ever. In addition to their myriad of older songs, a perfect example of this in Get Ready is possibly the only 'pure' techno song, "Viscous Streak." This song is what this band had always been: laid-back, beautiful pop, and an unforgettable tune with smooth and assuring vocals. All of New Order's numbers had always had a strong presence of Peter Hooks' strong bass-lines. As a matter of fact, Peter's distinctive bass-lines, to a great extent, give this band its trademark sound. Though Get Ready might not have the traditional New Order sound, Peter's deft basses still make a strong presence in each and every song on this album.

The members of New Order have had a lot of side-projects like Bernard's 'Electronic' and Peter's 'Monaco'. Hence, it seemed as though this band would never make a studio-album after Republic. Even if they would, it would seem just for the sake of it. But, with a comeback album of such a quality and after such an unimaginably long hiatus, it seems like the band has a new-found fire, and is more alive and kicking than in any other album of theirs. This fact seems more striking since one thought the band was done for good. Even in the band's various side-projects the sounds were a lot like the typical New Order sound. However, Get Ready, which is an album wholly made by New Order members, has a dramatically alien sound, and by the feel of the album, it seems as though the band has always been making such kind of music. Get Ready is indeed the best a band could come up with as a 'comeback' album.

Rating: A

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© 2004 Vish Iyer and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Reprise, and is used for informational purposes only.