Album #120: New Order – Brotherhood

  • Released: 1986
  • Origin: Manchester, England
  • Label: Factory
  • Best Track: Bizarre Love Triangle

For reasons unbeknown to me, I’ve had New Order’s ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ in my head for much of yesterday. As I mentioned when reviewing Kraftwerk’s debut recently, I struggle to settle on an album sometimes, and I need to listen to more New Order albums anyway. At least it’s a better excuse than a musician’s death.

Fourth album Brotherhood is notable for being arguably the record that helped New Order crack America. It’s also perhaps the best example of them integrating their post-punk roots with the synth-heavy electronic sound with which the band is synonymous today.

The former – possibly seen by some as a Joy Division continuation – is best showcased by ‘Broken Promise’ and ‘Way of Life’, with their funereal drumming and Peter Hook’s trademark gurgling bass lines. I actually prefer some of the more electronic stuff though, like the catchy as anything ‘Weirdo’.

‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ remains one of my favourite New Order tracks. Everything about it is perfect – the chorus, the lyrics, that sparkly keyboard hook before the “every time I see you falling…” Love the video too, which featured in a collection of work by American artist Gretchen Bender I saw at Tate Liverpool a few years ago, although I believe the main director of this video was Robert Longo.

Superb album. I expected no less.

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