Low-lifeby New Order
New Order's third LP, Low-life, was, in every way, the artistic equal of their breakout, 1983's Power, Corruption & Lies. The point where the band's fusion of rock and electronics became seamless, it showed the bandmembers having it every way they wanted: heavily sequenced and synthesized, but with bravura work from Bernard Sumner's guitar and Peter Hook's plaintive, melodic bass; filled with hummable pop songs, but still experimental as far as how the productions were achieved. The melodica-led pop song "Love Vigilantes" was the opener, nearly identical as a standout first track to "Age of Consent" from Power, Corruption & Lies. Next was "The Perfect Kiss," one of the first major New Order singles to appear on an album. (The band being newly signed to Warner Bros. in the United States, it made perfect sense to include such a sublime piece of dance-pop on the LP.) Even as more and more synth-heavy groups like Eurythmics and Pet Shop Boys began approaching New Order's expertise with the proper care of electronics in pop music, the band still sounded like none other. "This Time of Night" and "Elegia" evoked the dark, nocturnal mood of the album's title and artwork, but none could call them mopey when they pushed as hard as they did on "Sunrise." Only "Sub-Culture," tucked in at the end, has the feel of a lost opportunity; remixed for a single release, it became much better. But there was no mistaking that New Order had reached a peak, experimenting with their sound and their style, but keeping every moment wrapped in an unmistakable humanness.
- Release Date:
- London Import
Performance CreditsNew Order Primary Artist
Technical CreditsMichael Johnson Engineer
New Order Producer
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >
...if only this album featured the 12" versions of 'The Perfect Kiss' and 'Subculture' instead of the versions that ruin this otherwise excellent album from New Order. I don't think anyone would want to return to the butchered version of 'The Perfect Kiss' which exists on Low-Life after hearing the one present on their singles collection of 1987, Substance. The full version is arguably my favourite New Order song, it's nine minutes of sheer bliss, and the last three minutes in particular are absolutely mindblowing. On Low-Life, the third verse of the song is removed and the ending severely edited. No thanks. As for Sub-Culture, here we have an entirely different version, which sounds pretty good but I really do prefer the full-on stomp of the single mix. Still, Low-Life gets four stars cos the rest of the album is fantastic: 'Love Vigilantes' is a brilliant foray into electro-country, 'Face Up' is HI-NRG disco pumped to the max, 'Sunrise' a pure tidal wave of sound, 'Elegia' an instrumental of pure beauty and then there's 'This Time of Night'. Wow. Wow. WOW! This could be the best album track New Order have ever created. A gorgeous piano melody, heartbreaking vocals and excellent beats. Very underrated. If there was a re-release of Low-Life which replaced the present versions of 'Perfect Kiss' and 'Subculture' with the ones on Substance, we'd be talking about New Order's absolute best album, no question. Until that day, I have to say that Power, Corruption and Lies remains the most consistently brilliant New Order album.