“When you listen to Jetstream [the Scissor Sister starring track from last album, Waiting For the Siren’s Call], are you amazed that you’re in the same band that gave the world Temptation?” New Order bassist Peter Hook has not been the same since being asked that question in 2005 by an indignant journalist, expressing what many were feeling about Siren’s Call being a whimpering bookend to an incredible career. New Order are still kicking around without their iconic bassist, politics and legal threats having delayed the offcuts from their last album for an age. Until now.
These, then, are the Lost Sirens. Hellbent (first heard on last year’s Total compilation) is both the best and worst on offer, Bernard Sumner seemingly ringing his verses in from down the road before rushing to the studio for a power-packed chorus. Shake It Up revisits the theme of a laddish night out already covered in almost identical style by Late At Night (Electronic) and Morning Night And Day. They’re not bad songs at all but this is not New Order bringing their A-game.
The Crazy World mix of I Told You So adds a Velvet Underground depth, which makes for a better version than appeared on Siren’s Call, but this superior take would have stuck out like a sore thumb among those songs because, unlike anything else on that album, it is actually a classic. The breezy I’ve Got A Feeling (not related to the Monaco song of the same name) really should have been present though.
For better or worse, Lost Sirens offers an expanded understanding of what may still remain New Order’s last studio album. In Haçienda days, this would have been a passable B-sides collection.
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