Thursday, 19th July 2018. 1:52:45am ET
Reviews CD Reviews Alternative, Indie Rock New Order- Waiting for the Siren's Call
Artist: New Order
CD Title: Waiting for the Sirens' Call
Label:  Warner Brothers
Reviewer: Joshua Heinrich
Date: 4/21/05

After a lengthy breakup and somewhat uneven return with 2001's Get Ready, New Order are back to form, albeit an evolved one, on Waiting for the Sirens' Call. Continuing in the less electronic, more rock-oriented vein of their previous offering but featuring remarkably stronger songwriting, performances, and production, the new album finds New Order arguably sounding more relevant, intense, and youthful than they have in two decades.

Waiting for the Sirens' Call, while often very similar in sound and form to some of the band's earlier rock-oriented work, is also the most akin to the members' side projects. There are slight hints of Electronic here and there, on, for example, the bouncy, moody electro-reggae dub of "I Told You So". Much of the album more notably features the polished and well-rounded moody alt rock sound that characterized Monaco's Music For Pleasure.

Nearly every song on Waiting for the Sirens' Call is exceptionally good if not equally single-worthy. Most of the guitar work is spectacularly layered, proficient, and emotional, mutating even the songs' longer instrumental breaks into excellent rock jams as opposed to some of the overly drawn out dance interludes of their earlier albums. Bernard Sumner's vocals maintain the same timbre as they did in earlier days but sound more controlled and confident. The band really sounds tighter and stronger than ever, solidified further by the disc's excellent production.

"Who's Joe" is a killer bass-driven rock opener with a wonderfully catchy melodic chorus that's almost reminiscent of "Crystal" from the band's previous album. "Hey Now What You Doing", on the other hand, is a moodier, slower simple rock offering with impressively intertwining layered guitar and bass work, followed by the almost Bunnymen-esque upbeat guitar pop simplicity of the disc's title track. "Dracula's Castle", while one of the album's least memorable tracks, is still a highly formidable electronic-infused poppy rock outing, while "Turn" is a strikingly beautiful slice of rock melancholia. Perhaps the only real oddity in the tracklist is "Working Overtime". It's actually a fairly good song, but its groovy retro rock, almost recalling the current punk-infused New York rock scene, is so stylistically different that it seems somewhat out of place, especially as the album closer.

As rock-oriented as the album is, it's certainly not void of electronics. There's the aforementioned "I Told You So", the underlying bouncy electronics of the electro-rock hybrids "Krafty" and "Morning Night and Day", and the piano-centered pop of "Jetstream". Then there's "Guilt is a Useless Emotion", the album's straightforward-yet-infectious dance number and an excellent single choice if ever there was one.

As a whole, Waiting for the Sirens' Call is a spectacular album…surprisingly one of the best and most consistent in the band's extensive catalog. While obviously not as revolutionary as earlier offerings, it's certainly far from dated and does far more than rehash the past. Likely to please both fans and newcomers, even those that had lukewarm reactions to Get Ready, Waiting for the Sirens' Call is definitely worth checking out.


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