So went the headline to the second most exciting piece of music news that I’ve seen this year.
(The first was the fact that there was going to be a new Cardinal album).
I immediately clicked the link to read the full story on Stereogum.
Apparently I had been living under a rock. A rock, that in all fairness is more commonly referred to as the holidays, but a rock nonetheless. Reading that post informed me that New Order were on the cover of January’s Mojo magazine AND had been reunited (to a degree) since October of last year.
The focus of the Stereogum piece was that the magazine came with a CD compilation of the band’s second album “Power, Corruption & Lies” covered in it’s entirety by artists hand-selected by Mojo. The Destroyer track from the headline was part of compilation, naturally, and it was every bit as good I was hoping it would be.
Destroyer made my favorite record of 2011, “Kaputt”, and “Leave Me Alone” is one of my favorite New Order songs so I was fairly certain that I would love it. I was right to be so certain, it’s a beautiful cover; as much to do with Destroyer’s devastatingly smart and elegant style as it is to do with New Order’s deceptively simple, but impeccably sharp song structure.
Most of my favorite covers are of New Order songs o in honor of this reunion of sorts (Peter Hook remains sadly absent), allow me to share with you my three favorite New Order covers.
1. Comet Gain – “Love Vigilantes” – This might be my favorite cover, period, and dare I say it might surpass the original? Comet Gain strips this one down to what it rightfully is, a rousing folk charger. Because lead singer David Feck approaches every song that he performs as though music is the purest element in existence, and will ultimately save the world – this song takes on an urgency like none other. You will be out of breath after listening to it, and you will think that you can conquer the universe… and you will be right!
2. Destroyer – “Leave Me Alone’”– Since this was the cover that made me want to write this post it seems essential that it be mentioned as one of my top three. It’s beautifully produced — rich, elegant, and deeply layered. If you didn’t know better you may have thought, “Huh. Dan Bejar wrote a song that sounds a lot like a New Order song.” 3. Lilys – “Dreams Never End” – Just the right amount of fuzz in the right places plus the higher, friendlier vocals make this a cheerier take on what was originally a very good track. The shoegaze-lite-ness of it all, plus the fact that it’s still remarkably danceable gives this song a dear, dear place in my heart.
3. Lilys – “Dreams Never End” – Just the right amount of fuzz in the right places plus the higher, friendlier vocals make this a cheerier take on what was originally a very good track. The shoegaze-lite-ness of it all, plus the fact that it’s still remarkably danceable gives this song a dear, dear place in my heart.
Honorable mention – Galaxie 500 – “Ceremony,” Boo Radleys – “Boo Faith!,” Moby – “Temptation”
— Marion Hodges