Album #560 – Low-Life

Album #560

New Order are one of those groups that are distinctly 80’s. There is no getting away from the decade for them. It’s probably because of how influential and ahead of their time they were. Low-Life is the group’s third album. They were well on their way. I really enjoyed listening to it because New Order evolves on this album from a group rooted in post-punk sounds to one that seemed to go in a dance-based direction. The songs become more melodic as well. New Order, like their contemporaries Depeche Mode, started out quite different as a band. New Order was originally Joy Division, fronted by Ian Curtis. After Curtis’ death in 1980, his band mates carried on in a new direction. Their early work sounds very similar to Joy Division: droning, industrial post-punk. But as the decade carries on, the band’s sound changed and became their own. Low-Life’s sounds are still around today by influencing many artists who are going in a synth-pop direction. But, I wonder if they could ever be as dark as New Order and writing meaningful songs within the synth-pop framework. The song Love Vigilantes has become one embraced by indie artists in numerous cover versions including the most famous: Iron and Wine’s version. The song talks about the travesties of war in a way we can all relate to. It is this type of accessible songwriting that New Order would continue to experiment with especially on their massive hit, Bizarre Love Triangle. The instrumentals are also great and show the evolution as well. From the moment I heard The Perfect Kiss in the film Pretty In Pink for the first time, I was mesmerized. The beautiful sounds coming together makes it one of the best tracks from the decade. There was not a dud on Low-Life and I will be adding it to my collection.

Overall, I give Low-Life, 5 out of 5.

Next: Picture Book by Simply Red

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