Search - New Order :: Low Life

Low Life
New Order
Low Life
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1

With the 1985 release of Low Life, New Order put forth their most commercially accessible effort to date. While some of the dark-wave drippings of their Joy Division roots are evident, high energy progressions, which would...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: New Order
Title: Low Life
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 1
Label: Qwest / Wea
Original Release Date: 1/1/1985
Re-Release Date: 10/25/1990
Album Type: Original recording reissued
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Styles: Hardcore & Punk, Indie & Lo-Fi, New Wave & Post-Punk, Dance Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 075992528924

Synopsis essential recording
With the 1985 release of Low Life, New Order put forth their most commercially accessible effort to date. While some of the dark-wave drippings of their Joy Division roots are evident, high energy progressions, which would carry them for years to come, began to emerge here. Hits like "Perfect Kiss" and "Sub-Culture," with their synth hooks, club-stomping accents, and visceral lyrics, helped bridge the gap for growing synth-pop audiences who bolstered their success. Other refined techniques on the album became standard New Order conventions: sweeping analogue rolls, live and sequenced drum percussion, tight bass melodies, and edgy guitar leads. Sustained by a peerless level of emotional involvement, the vocals and lyrics further entice the listener with the obliquely nuanced style of Bernard Sumner. Standing the test of time, this release is a must-have in order to understand the origins of introspective pop-wave culture. --Lucas Hilbert

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CD Reviews

The Definitive Work By The Splendid New Order
dandurand | detroit | 12/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Low Life" is New Order's definitive work, and a defining moment in 80's music. Finally finding their post-Joy Division voice after the splendid but less confident "Power, Corruption & Lies", New Order joyfully arrive fully formed on "Low Life". Every song bristles with energy and is celebratory, even when dark. Starting with the haunting but deceptively upbeat "Love Vigilantes" it's game on. "The Perfect Kiss" follows, yet another New Order classic, and "Low Life" is chock full of them. There is the darkly sophisticated "Sooner Than You Think", club favorite "Sub-culture", and the gorgeous, and I mean gorgeous instrumental "Elegeia". The incredibly buoyant "Face Up" ends things. The sound of "Low Life" is everything that made New Order so very unique, and what still sets them apart as absolute originals; no one else sounds like them. Musically the relentlessly inventive and energetic counterpoint of synth, bass, guitar, and percussion create a sound that simply compells and propels every song. Bernard Sumner's lyrics and enigmatic vocals bring the sinister contrast to the almost ebullient chemistry of the music. "Low Life" is a midnight sun of happy darkness, and one of the very best albums of the 80's."
The pinnacle of all their brilliance
Aria of Quills | Rhode Island | 06/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This album is a cut above everything else they've ever done, and that's saying a lot. Even with New Order's long and magnificent career, I think this album truly stands out as something special. It has that special quality that can only be attained when Bernard is "Pumped Full of Drugs."

New Order has had so many songs with vague and hard-to-puzzle lyrics, but "Love Vigilantes" actually narrates the story of a man fighting in Vietman. Not my favorite song on the CD, but a good one.

If you're considering buying this album, you've probably already heard "The Perfect Kiss," and you know just how complex and beautiful this song is. If you haven't heard it, then you need to buy the album just to experience this one song. A lot of people prefer the longer version found on Substance, but I've always prefered the shorter one... it's just a rush.

The first time I listened to "This Time of Night," I thought to myself, "Wow, this is so 80's." The drums definitely give it a very typical 80's feel and in some ways I think it is exemplary of mid-80's synthpop, but it still kicks the ass of anything else like it.

"Sunrise" is the only song here that I've ever seen receive any real criticism. The guitar is very heavy, almost too heavy, and maybe the song isn't quite up to the standards of the rest of the album, but it's still New Order, and damn good.

"Elegia" perfectly lives up to its title and is one of my favorite instrumental tracks. The song is a line drawn between the first and second parts of the album, but in a good way.

"Sooner Than You Think" is always overlooked. Hard not to be, when it shares a disc with such greatness, but it stands on its own. The song starts in a mellow sort of way (following "Elegia," it almost has to), but after a minute or so, there's a kick-in with the sort of subdued energy that no one does like New Order.

"Sub-culture" is one of those songs that has caused New Order to be labelled "dark pop." Bernard's voice is almost monotone and emotionless at times, and it complements the song much more than any sort of lyric-matching wailing would have.

"Face Up" is a mood-lifter after Sub-Culture. I think others would agree that this one is reminiscent of "The Village" on Power, Corruption, and Lies. An all around good song, and a nice closer to their best of albums."
Off the Hook!
Matthew Doig | Nashville, TN, USA | 05/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This an awfully good album. I picked this up after purchasing Substance and Brotherhood back in the day.

I remember lying in my bed thinking this band is ridiculously good. Only two of these songs appear on Substance when realistically Love Vigilates would be the high point of most bands careers.

Pick it up and discover what the 80's were all about!"