CD Review of Movement (Collector’s Edition) by New Order
Recommended if you like
Joy Division, LCD Soundsystem, Interpol
Label
Warner Bros./Rhino
New Order:
Movement (Collector’s Edition)

Reviewed by Carlos Ramirez

T

he last 12 months have a period of reflection for the musicians in New Order. Last October, Anton Corbijn’s gripping Ian Curtis biopic “Control” was released to rave reviews, a DVD called “Live in Glasgow” recently came out and now the folks at Rhino have reissued the first five New Order albums all with a bonus disc of extra material. With bands like LCD Soundsystem and Crystal Castles aping a lot of the Mancunian combo’s earlier musical cues, it’s a great time to reexamine their debut album Movement.

Recorded shortly after Ian Curtis’ suicide, the band takes what had to be a bleak and confusing atmosphere into the studio with them. New Order would go on to fully embrace the dance rhythms of Chicago house and New York freestyle music on later albums, but Movement is the sound of a band still trying to figure out who they are. It’s really surprising considering their first single as New Order, “Ceremony,” found them confidently swinging between melodic synth-pop and brittle post-punk. But clearly the group was dejected and still grieving over the tragedy they faced just a year before.

Songs like “Chosen Time” hint at the propulsive infectiousness of their later output, but the ghost of Curtis still cuts through the majority of the material. Not confident in who should take over the lead vocal duties, bassist Peter Hook even tries his hand on a couple of cuts. Not that it matters all that much. Sensing that fans might want someone Curtis-like, Hook does a lousy impression of their late vocalist on “Dreams Never End” and “Doubts Even Here,” reminding us how awful that one Revenge album was.

The better moments on Movement are the ones where Hook’s bass lines and the synthesizers volley with each other (“Denial”) creating a bed for Bernard Sumner to weave his icy guitars through. Martin Hannett famously fixated on drum sounds, and Stephen Morris’ performances here are all the better for it. Check out the way Hannett captures the dizzying tom-tom work on “ICB” here for further proof. Credit has to also be given to John (no last name given) and Flood for their tuned-in mixing job. Lesser engineers would have missed the nuances that make these songs so unique and engaging in the first place.

New Order

This reissue comes with a second disc of B-sides and additional mixes not found on the original pressing of Movement. The aforementioned “Ceremony” is found here in its original glory and in a slightly altered version. Fan favorite “Everything’s Gone Green” is included, as is the brilliant and forward-thinking “Temptation.” These tracks have been included on compilations throughout the years but standing side by side to the songs on Movement, it’s clearer to see how far the group progressed in the span of a year.

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