FLAC LOSSLESS/ CUE/ IMG/ LOG/ CANS | RS | 332 MB
Genre: Indie, Pop
1993’s Republic was New Order’s first album after the demise of Factory Records and would be their last for eight years, after they disbanded while touring to promote this record.
The album reached Number 1 in the UK, and is New Order’s last chart topper. It also received a Mercury Music Prize nomination.
The album follows on the standard New Order principles of not having anything other than the credits and art inside the CD sleeve, and of having a Peter Saville designed cover.
The band broke up while on the tour following this album. Lead singer Bernard Sumner is known not to like travelling to North America, and media reports suggest that the pressure of the long leg there contributed to the band’s temporary demise. They reunited in 1998.
Their cult years behind them, 1993 saw New Order put their best commercial foot forward with this, their major label debut. By this time they were an act geared to mainstream appetites, and the lighter tone and preponderance of upbeat synthesizer hooks on REPUBLIC suggested a group who had identified their strengths and weaknesses in the four-year interval since their last album. The vibrant tunesmithery that has always been the group’s trademark was augmented by a typicallypolished Stephen Hague production. “Regret” duly became their first major US radio hit. Other effective tracks include set-closer “Avalanche”, and “World”, the record’s most feisty interlude.
This LP comes in for a bit of undeserved flak from NO fans- mainly because it has very slick, commercial production, and because Hooky’s bass is uncharacteristically absent throughout much of the set.
Neither of these factors are really a problem- in fact, this is one of NO’s best sounding albums. New Order’s music has always needed good sound quality to do it justice (poor production let down both “Movement” and “Brotherhood”). Hague does a great production job for the most part, and the polished sound is perfectly complemented by Peter Saville’s glossy sleeve artwork.
The opening side, kicking off with the superb “Regret” and closing with the sparkling “Everyone Everywhere,” is as good as anything in the band’s back catalogue. If the album deserves criticism, its because of the second side, which is a little underwhelming- “Chemical” in particular, is best forgotten- but it’s by no means unenjoyable. “Special” stands out as a perfect example of NO’s melodic melancholia, and the instrumental “Avalanche” is an understated (and underrated) closer.
Although it’s often written off as sub-standard, it’s a much better album than NO are given credit for. It would be easy to be seduced by its slick, commercial allure and pass it off as a superficial pop album, but no amount of sonic tweaking can disguise NO’s brand of sombre, bittersweet melody, which is evident throughout, and this is what gives the record its punch. Instead of whingeing about how NO don’t sound like Joy Division anymore, the listener ought to take the album on its own terms. (And anyway, at least its better than “Get Ready”.
3. Ruined In A Day
5. Everyone Everywhere
6. Young Offender
9. Times Change
Thanks to Lee Harvey Oswald (I know you didn’t kill that bloke in Dallas …. JR Ewing, I mean)