Power, Corruption & Lies review by New Order

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  • Released: May 2, 2013
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8 (5 votes)
New Order: Power, Corruption & Lies

Sound — 8
When I first heard a description of the band New Order, I was very suspicious as to why what was essentially the remaining members of the great post-punk group Joy Division would go off and make dance music. I mean, think about it, doesn't that seem a bit weird, the whole idea? A while later, I checked out a copy of "Power, Corruption & Lies" from my local library and well, I will say, it's not exactly what I had been expecting. Other than their biggest hit "Blue Monday" almost no overpowering dance music elements are to be found anywhere on this album. It just sounds like Joy Division with a mild techno rhythm present throughout the majority of the music.

Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are good, but I don't consider them great and certainly not on the same level as the songwriting skills of the late Ian Curtis. The music seems to be only slightly synchronized with the lyrics/singing, but I get the feeling that was entirely intentional. This is actually a kind of experimental album, as it differs strongly from the first New Order album, being more like Depeche Mode than the band they originally were. It's weird, not in a bad way, but more in the way that you could probably ask two people with otherwise identical musical tastes about this album and the chances are high the two people would give rather different responses.

Overall Impression — 8
"Power, Corruption & Lies" is a bunch of fun nonsense, but I can say some really nice things about it: it's more enjoyable than pop punk, goes well as the soundtrack to the video game "Rez" and it isn't the worst dance music album ever made, not by a long shot. I can also say a couple of really bad things about it: it's not the best New Order album ever, despite the fact that it is without a doubt their most popular and it manages to disappoint in quality, when compared to "Movement" or pretty much anything in the larger-than-you-would-believe Joy Division catalog of albums, EPs, live recordings and compilation discs.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    You haven't got the slightest idea what you're talking about. Firstly, Blue Monday isn't even on the album. You must have listened to some non-UK bundled release - a US version perhaps. This explains your lack of a clue. The influence PCL has had on UK electronic music cannot be overstated. Andrew Weatherall lists it as his favourite album by any band or artists for one. It is the album where Barney truly finds his voice as a lyricist and singer over the long format and is a pioneering success in combining live instruments and sequencers and is considered a classic by most fans of the band and indeed fans of any electronic or indie music. It is if anything underrated.
    How funny: this was also my first New Order full-length that I got from my library! Your review is kinda confusing (I dunno if it's their most popular album), but I do agree that it is a bit overrated.