Here’s our first weekly round-up of four recent and forthcoming releases worth a listen.
Another will follow next week.
• New Order: Music Complete:
New Order’s 10th album might be their first proper studio LP for a decade, but the alternative rock act pull off the unlikely feat of sounding like they’ve never been away.
Music Complete is up there with their finest efforts, and at least half of its 11 tracks could find themselves on a future best-of album without sounding out of place.
Former bassist Peter Hook might now be absent, but star guests including Iggy Pop and Brandon Flowers more than compensate.
Oddly enough, though, the Pop track, Stray Dog, is one of the album’s poorer moments. It consists of the 68-year-old growling, in Lee Marvin-like fashion, over a dance track, making it little more than a retread of Aisha, his 2000 single with Death in Vegas, and equally unrewarding.
• Editors: In Dream:
Coming after what was quite possibly their best album yet, 2013’s The Weight of Your Love, this is a bit of a disappointment.
Its decision to ditch its predecessor’s focus on guitar-led songs and return to the synthesizer-centric sounds of the one before, 2009’s In This Light and On This Evening, the weakest of their five LPs, comes across as a sizeable step backwards.
It’s certainly moody but not magnificent, though it does have the odd highlight, Ocean of Night and No harm being chief among them.
In This Light and On This Evening gave Editors their second chart-topper, but their last one had to settle for a peak position of No 6, so coming over all electronic again might make sound commercial sense, however.
• The Twilight Sad: Oran Mor Session:
This is an expanded version of a plaintive and haunting live EP initially only available at the Scottish indie rock trio’s 2014 concerts.
It adds three extra tracks to the six original inclusions, mostly stripped-down versions of already-sparse songs from their fourth album, last year’s Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave, a No 51 hit.
• Motorhead: Bad Magic
Motorhead’s 22nd album returned them to the top 10 for the first time in over 30 years, presumably largely courtesy of the exposure generated by their oddly-lacklustre performance at this year’s Glastonbury Festival.
It’s cracking stuff but, it being cut from much the same cloth as everything else Lemmy Kilmister and his band have done over the last 40 years, it’s hard to understand why it’s done so much better than the 16 albums they’ve released since 1982’s Iron Fist.
That might even be down to Kilmister’s recent health issues having prompted rock fans to stop taking Motorhead for granted by assuming that they’ll be around for ever.
Whatever the reason, it’s good to see the Great British public finally appreciating a long-neglected national treasure.