New Order: Music Complete

Dance-rock pioneers re-reinvent themselves after three decades

Credit: Nick Wilson

A New Order album without founding member Peter Hook — one of rock's most aggressive yet distinctively melodic bassists — seems about as appealing as Joy Division without singer Ian Curtis. But just as Curtis' suicide inspired his bandmates to reinvent themselves as New Order in 1980, Hook's departure frees them to create their most varied and substantial work in decades. Euphoric dance beats lift the band's heavy emotionality, with La Roux's Elly Jackson, the Killers' Brandon Flowers, Chemical Brother Tom Rowlands and Iggy Pop all pitching in to add some light to the group's shade. "For friends not here, we shed our tears," sings Bernard Sumner in "Singularity." They lose their inhibitions, too.