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#1 Posted : 19 March 2021 03:24:01(UTC)
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THINGS I CANNOT HIDE ANYMORE FROM MYSELF

I've been New Order fan since the mid-90s. They've been a soundtrack for most of my entire adult life. And most of it was based on the 1981—95 output (⅓ of the band's entire ongoing career, if you think about it). I also used to post here in thousands.

I really tried to like Get Ready, WFTSC and Music Complete when they were released but eventually I would pick 1 or 2 (!) tunes and never go back to these albums. What is it, I was asking myself more and more with every new release, especially when Music Complete came out, which sounded pretty good, despite the unoriginal music production. And I think I narrowed it down to one thing: THE LYRICS of the past 30 years.

I JUST CAN'T TAKE THEM ANYMORE.

They're boring, generic and just really embarrassing to hear. Sure, Sumner has never been a great lyricist and words are not that important in the music of New Order, some say. But...

It started probably around the time of the Republic sessions and got worse with every record since. "Hey you, you'll be okay, do what you do..." became Sumner's new-found mantra for over twenty years. WTF?! We are punks, we don't care. We don't want to feel okay or to be told what to do to feel okay. And that's what he tells us in every song since 2001.

I mean, there's no humor here or straight fucked up shit or exquisite nonsense like New Order had circa 1982-1984. No emotional drama of 1987-1990. What happened was is that, I think, Prozak really cured our hero because ever since then we have all these happy go around songs about nothing. "Two step forward, one step back..." Is it a group physical therapy class? Sure, it has a nice beat...

Fuck...

I'd be more content with Sumner singing about docking the yacht and late Amazon orders. This new tune... "You're not devil, you're a rebel..." It'd be more funny and poignant if it were "YOU'RE NOT A REBEL, YOU'RE A DEVIL..." Who is "you"? Not me, bud. I think Bernard should make an effort to break new grounds lyrically, however small they might be at this point. So yeah, I am really pleased sonically with some of the new music but the words just kill it for me to have an enduring enjoyment.

All the best.Hi

Edited by user 19 March 2021 03:24:35(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Col72 on 19/03/2021(UTC), ROCKET MICK on 10/05/2021(UTC)
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Michael Monkhouse  
#2 Posted : 19 March 2021 04:11:52(UTC)
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Feels like I've been here before http://forums.neworderon...sts&t=1401#post11457
Hey now, wotcher doin'
Feelin' like a bog with poo in
Or a big fat cow a-mooin'
You're a shoe shop with no shoe in
Or a porn shop with no goo in
Wooooo
Hey now
Hey! Wooo
Gotta sort yerself out
Don't be a lout
That's what it's about
Is that whatcher doin'

Edited by user 19 March 2021 04:13:22(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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ROCKET MICK on 10/05/2021(UTC)
50poundnote  
#3 Posted : 19 March 2021 07:41:45(UTC)
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Hope it felt good to get that off your chest.

Barney's lyrics have always been shit. I don't care. I'm 100% a "sound" person, and his voice is just another instrument in the mix to me. I still don't know all the proper lyrics to songs I've listened to thousands of times.

I do appreciate the effort he made on Music Complete. I think those are lyrically some of the best he's ever written.

Anyway, it's certainly better than singing about cars, or girls, or Simon LeBon-like pretentious shit that was bad in the '80s and hasn't aged any better.

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Rorschach on 20/03/2021(UTC), ROCKET MICK on 10/05/2021(UTC)
Fotz  
#4 Posted : 19 March 2021 09:34:38(UTC)
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Yes it’s interesting what £50 says above about Bernard’s voice being another instrument, even if the lyrics aren’t always interesting or engaging . I can agree with that.

I think the lyrics on Leave Me Alone are one of Bernard’s best ever. But of course all that thousand islands in the sea stuff could mean nothing at all . But they’re effective and maybe that’s all that matters. I never did myself but I could understand young fans seeking their way backstage after a gig back in the day to ask what the lyrics are about ( an often repeated thread on NOOL at one time was of course asking what 1963 is about haha!) . I think a lot of Bernard’s lyrics on the 80s albums up to and including Technique are actually pretty good. Yeah of course there were a few duffers but they were much more interesting and engaging than say a lot of the lyrics on WFTSC. Though the lyrics to the title song on that album never fail to move the soul. All The Way from Technique is another high point lyric wise from Bernard. Again , like Leave Me Alone they could mean nothing but they just work so well and really hit the spot.

Later stuff like Slow Jam and all that “ it beats arithmetic “ stuff is certainly never going to win any awards for lyricism but I find them actually funny, they make me chuckle. So at least they work in that way if nothing else.

I guess the low points as has often been the opinion of many on here is all the hey now whatcha doin’? type nonsense. But again that’s when you can just maybe take Bernard’s voice as another instrument and let it go that the lyrics are cack.

He did get his game back up for some of the songs on Music Complete though. Restless has some lyrics that really strike a chord - “ What makes your day ?/ What miracle of life has come to stay?” And “ How much do you need? How much?, how much?” can only surely be interpreted as addressing the pointless greed of some in society today ( or has always been) and where does that need for greed actually get you in the end? I have some time for Bernard’s lyrical takes on the ills of the world.

Edited by user 19 March 2021 09:43:41(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

GotBlueEyes  
#5 Posted : 20 March 2021 10:31:50(UTC)
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"Behind closed doors we listen to The Corrs"

come on!
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M1 on 25/03/2021(UTC), ROCKET MICK on 10/05/2021(UTC)
Fotz  
#6 Posted : 20 March 2021 11:17:46(UTC)
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“Will United get beat?” from an Electronic song I can’t recall the name of.
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ROCKET MICK on 10/05/2021(UTC)
Michael Monkhouse  
#7 Posted : 20 March 2021 12:57:36(UTC)
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Flicker. I always thought it was a joke - bathos and all that.
I guess you're right - Bernard's voice is an element in the mix. Johnny Marr said he liked it and it was, ahem, distinctive, at least until 2000ish.
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Coops on 25/03/2021(UTC), ROCKET MICK on 10/05/2021(UTC)
Coops  
#8 Posted : 25 March 2021 00:54:51(UTC)
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Bollocks. Bernard was spot on, it will always be the same, it's not gonna change, not as long as we keep going to school with Saddam Hussein.

Most song lyrics are crap when you really look at them, name me the best songwriter on the planet and there'll be some crap he/she's written somewhere. When New Order lyrics are good they're very good and when they're bad they're bloody terrible. Bernard clearly doesn't take it too seriously so I never have.
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Rorschach on 25/03/2021(UTC), ROCKET MICK on 10/05/2021(UTC)
Skullcrushed  
#9 Posted : 27 March 2021 11:09:59(UTC)
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I think with Bernard the lows are very low and he's (rightly) called out for that a lot, but the highs are very high as well and he often doesn't get enough credit for that.

Songs like True Faith, Vanishing Point, Run, All Day Long, Leave Me Alone, Ultraviolence, Lonesome Tonight, Temptation have absolutely top notch lyrics that just work so well. Something like say the chorus of BLT is absolutely iconic. I think there's a kind of snobbery going on to Barney because he's not the literary type that journos love like e.g. Ian Curtis or Morrissey, but I think the lyrics of some of those songs I've just mentioned are easily on a par with more celebrated lyricists.

Admittedly though the post-factory period has been more meagre pickings and all the 'hey yeah how's it going' type guff is rubbish.

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ROCKET MICK on 10/05/2021(UTC)
Debaser  
#10 Posted : 27 March 2021 12:17:11(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Skullcrushed Go to Quoted Post


Songs like True Faith...


...never come
...morning sun
...brings me near
...replaced by fear

It's very simplistic/masculine rhyming, no?

I still like the song of course.
Same for Age of Consent

...let me go?
...hurt me so
...likes to tell you
...want to do
...needs to tell you
...want me to


...might like to know
... few days ago
...word that it said
...going to regret

...likes to tell you
...want me to
...needs to tell me
...birds and the bees

...happens all the time?
...becomes a crime
...likes to tell you
...want to do
...needs to tell you, ooh-ooh

I'm sure there are more examples.

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ROCKET MICK on 10/05/2021(UTC)
Michael Monkhouse  
#11 Posted : 27 March 2021 12:59:05(UTC)
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Well he's simple and a man.
That's two of their best tracks. If you don't like those, you're fucked.
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Rorschach on 27/03/2021(UTC), ROCKET MICK on 10/05/2021(UTC)
Andy  
#12 Posted : 27 March 2021 21:36:12(UTC)
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Not sure I want to pile on Bernard some more, as this is a well worn topic, but...

Sink or Swim by Bad Lieutenant is one of my least favourite lyrics of his. It put me off the album initially (although I now realize there's some quality tracks on it).

I think what bothers me most is that it seems as if he's actually trying to sound poetic. I won't post the entire lyric, but let me remind you of the second verse:

"Jesus, save this heart of gold
Take the time to save a soul
Will he bend or will he crack?
Save this yearling from the pack
He's not aware of anything
Sure as Summer follows Spring
Doesn't know where he's coming from
Reaching perfection takes too long

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah"

I interpret "Reaching perfection take too long" as him saying fuck it, why try so hard at something that's never going to be perfect anyway. Like his lyrics. So instead of writing more words, just repeat "yeah" 21 times.

And yes, the song begins with "What you doing".
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ROCKET MICK on 10/05/2021(UTC)
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#13 Posted : 28 March 2021 09:54:02(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: 50poundnote Go to Quoted Post
Hope it felt good to get that off your chest.


Yes, indeed!

But I do want Bernard to sing about what matters to him: yacht repair bills, flat tire on M1, disobedient kids... NOT about the mystical "you" in all his songs of the past 20 years who constantly needs to be assured it's all okay. No, it's not okay.

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ROCKET MICK on 10/05/2021(UTC)
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#14 Posted : 28 March 2021 09:59:14(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Michael Monkhouse Go to Quoted Post
That's two of their best tracks. If you don't like those, you're fucked.


Laugh Laugh Laugh

Right.
But I do know at least two people who seriously think New Order were finished after Movement and refuse to listen to anything by them post-1981.

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ROCKET MICK on 10/05/2021(UTC)
No Barcode  
#15 Posted : 28 March 2021 10:07:07(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Skullcrushed Go to Quoted Post

Admittedly though the post-factory period has been more meagre pickings and all the 'hey yeah how's it going' type guff is rubbish.


I dread the new album will be all about "hey you, you're okay if you listen to this album and you will be okay when you don't".
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ROCKET MICK on 10/05/2021(UTC)
Mr Discography  
#16 Posted : 28 March 2021 10:08:43(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: No Barcode Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Michael Monkhouse Go to Quoted Post
That's two of their best tracks. If you don't like those, you're fucked.


Laugh Laugh Laugh

Right.
But I do know at least two people who seriously think New Order were finished after Movement and refuse to listen to anything by them post-1981.


Wow, a whole two... Confused
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Rorschach on 28/03/2021(UTC), ROCKET MICK on 10/05/2021(UTC)
50poundnote  
#17 Posted : 28 March 2021 10:32:04(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: No Barcode Go to Quoted Post
But I do know at least two people who seriously think New Order were finished after Movement and refuse to listen to anything by them post-1981


Then they aren't fans. Why even bother?
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Rorschach on 28/03/2021(UTC), ROCKET MICK on 10/05/2021(UTC)
50poundnote  
#18 Posted : 28 March 2021 10:34:50(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: No Barcode Go to Quoted Post
I dread the new album will be all about "hey you, you're okay if you listen to this album and you will be okay when you don't".


What new album? Skeptic

Be A Rebel is a one-off single, intended to promote the joint tour with Pet Shop Boys. Despite COVID and the tour being delayed, they went ahead and released it because these things usually have schedules for manufacture, marketing, and promotion planned months in advance.

Edited by user 28 March 2021 10:35:34(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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No Barcode on 28/03/2021(UTC), ROCKET MICK on 10/05/2021(UTC)
Michael Monkhouse  
#19 Posted : 28 March 2021 11:47:48(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: 50poundnote Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: No Barcode Go to Quoted Post
But I do know at least two people who seriously think New Order were finished after Movement and refuse to listen to anything by them post-1981


Then they aren't fans. Why even bother?


They're Joy Division fans. Joy Division were the band from whose ashes New Order rose.
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ROCKET MICK on 10/05/2021(UTC)
No Barcode  
#20 Posted : 28 March 2021 14:32:22(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: 50poundnote Go to Quoted Post

What new album? Skeptic

Be A Rebel is a one-off single, intended to promote the joint tour with Pet Shop Boys. Despite COVID and the tour being delayed, they went ahead and released it because these things usually have schedules for manufacture, marketing, and promotion planned months in advance.


I've been out of loop, it seems. Good to know.
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ROCKET MICK on 10/05/2021(UTC)
Skullcrushed  
#21 Posted : 28 March 2021 23:24:34(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Debaser Go to Quoted Post


It's very simplistic/masculine rhyming, no?




I mean, they're pop songs, 99% of pop songs have a simplistic rhyming structure, even those by more 'celebrated' lyricists. It doesn't mean the use of language and turns of phrase isn't evocative. Something like the opening of True Faith I think is really poetic and interesting:


I feel so extraordinary
Something's got a hold of me
I get this feeling I'm in motion
A certain sense of liberty...




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ROCKET MICK on 10/05/2021(UTC)
Michael Monkhouse  
#22 Posted : 28 March 2021 23:27:33(UTC)
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You're not honestly expecting a new album, are you? It'll be out the day after my wedding to Sporty.
Yeah, the Barnster was a distinctive vocalist and erratically brilliant lyricist till the naughties, but there's been a lot of formula since then. My dislike of the sort-yerself-out vein goes back to Close Range. Shoutout to This Time I'm Not Wrong, which is better than most of Raise The Penis. And All That I Need.
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ROCKET MICK on 10/05/2021(UTC)
Michael Monkhouse  
#23 Posted : 28 March 2021 23:32:25(UTC)
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And yes, the opening of True Faith is strong and appealed to Neil Tennant, who used to have a thing about wishing he'd written half their songs. Novelty has worn off over the last 35 years though.
It's also important to consider lyrics in the context of the music. Imagine Strawberry Fields Forever without the sounds. It's easy if you try. It isn't hard to do.

Edited by user 28 March 2021 23:33:02(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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ROCKET MICK on 10/05/2021(UTC)
Debaser  
#24 Posted : 29 March 2021 02:47:07(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Skullcrushed Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Debaser Go to Quoted Post


It's very simplistic/masculine rhyming, no?




I mean, they're pop songs, 99% of pop songs have a simplistic rhyming structure, even those by more 'celebrated' lyricists. It doesn't mean the use of language and turns of phrase isn't evocative. Something like the opening of True Faith I think is really poetic and interesting:


I feel so extraordinary
Something's got a hold of me
I get this feeling I'm in motion
A certain sense of liberty...






Don't forget the bit where he rhymes "too much" with um, "too much".
Brilliant!
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ROCKET MICK on 10/05/2021(UTC)
50poundnote  
#25 Posted : 29 March 2021 07:30:44(UTC)
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If New Order had behaved like any other '80s pop band, I don't think I could overlook the lyrics. Imagine if they'd participated in Band Aid, Live Aid, were on the cover of Smash Hits and did poptastic things?

But they had their own sound, their own look (granted, Barney's shorty-shorts weren't a wise choice - nor Hook wearing SWEATPANTS for The Perfect Kiss video), and created a real mystique by giving limited interviews and shunning the spotlight. Because of that, I always viewed Barney as having a certain mystery, and his lyrics were an attempt to get across his feelings. Does that make sense? Maybe he wasn't so articulate and was struggling to get across the things he needed to express. Everything else about them was so unlike their peers, I could excuse the occasional clunky lyric, because you got the feeling it was sincere.
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negative1 on 29/03/2021(UTC), ROCKET MICK on 10/05/2021(UTC)
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