Bad Lieutenant – Never Cry Another Tear


Posted October 13, 2009 in Music Reviews

BIMM may-june 22 – Desktop

Stupid Peter Hook. What did he ever do for New Order? Sure, he had a COUPLE of sweet basslines. And yeah, maybe he gave an otherwise clean-cut and sappy band a little bit of comedic grizzle and growl. And sure, he wasn’t the one that sympathized with the Nazis. But we all know Bernard Sumner’s the coolest man alive, right? The only reason that New Order (heck, maybe even Joy Division!) were any cop. We’re talking about the poet behind such effecting couplets as

“And though he was ashamed that he had took a life
Johnny came home with another wife.”

OK, enough. New Order’s demise was like that of a terminally ill childhood favourite uncle. The passing itself was depressing, but at least the happy memories were intact. There was only so much dribble we were comfortable wiping off their chin before the heady nostalgia of Ceremony, Thieves Like Us, Bizarre Love Triangle, Fantasy et al turned to resentment for a faded glory.
Even the most perfect of New Order’s pop songs were tainted by the burgeoning realization that frontman Bernard Sumner was the eternal encapsulation of your dad air-guitarring Hotel California at your sister’s wedding. He’s harmless, he’s daft, but he has a knack with melody to put the pied piper out of business. Bad Lieutenant’s Never Cry Another Tear is his “I’m so over you” album, an ill-advised kiss with a gammy-looking heifer in front of his probably oblivious ex. Made with sometime-guitarist Phil Cunningham, Jake Evans (you know, from Rambo and Leroy?) and, on some tracks, N.O. drummer Stephen Morris and Blur’s recently re-employed Alex James, the album is a distinctly more stadium-grabbing effort.
The album is easily-categorized as alternative rock, a niche more recent New Order albums have unabashedly explored. What is more painful to admit is that the majority of the album’s 10 plodders come off like U2 demoes (hear Sumner’s emphatic ‘LIFE IS A PRECIOUS THING!’ on Dynamo and try to banish pictures of a squatting Bono from your mind’s eye). The album is all almost-psychedelic acoustic guitars, straightforward drum beats (bear in mind this is half the band that made Blue bloody Monday!) and rehashed melodies. Even the more inventive Shine Like The Sun elements of baggy and early 90’s New Order keyboards, but it doesn’t even graze a relatively weak single like late-period Crystal.
You know what Bad Lieutenant need? A good bassline.

 

 

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