Saturday, September 15, 2018

Certain Songs #1321: New Order – “Slow Jam” | Medialoper

Album: Get Ready
Year: 2001

Because Get Ready came out on August 27, 2001, it probably got kinda lost for me. I’d been unemployed since April and spent the first three weeks of September crashing on couches in Los Angeles while working a temp job for the Star Trek website (thanks Tim!) and interviewing at IndyMac Bank for the job that within a couple of months would have Rox & I packing up our Bay Area lives and starting our L.A. lives. All of this, of course, in the wake of the destruction of the twin towers in New York.

And yet, I was still somehow able to crank out a positive review of Get Ready for Neumu, a website started by Michael Goldberg after his pioneering Addicted to Noise site ended. Probably because I had plenty of time to listen to it during my purgatory at the Extended Stay America in Monrovia, the less said about, the better.

In any event, I think I was actually surprised at how much I liked Get Ready, because as I pointed out yesterday, I was lukewarm on 1989’s Technique, and I have a vivid memory about listening to 1993’s Republic in my office at Video Zone and despising it on contact, with the possible exception of the decent hit single, “Regret.”

Of course, Republic wasn’t an album that anybody wanted to do for artistic reasons — everybody in New Order pretty much despised each other by that point — Sumner was doing his thing w/ Johnny Marr in Electronic, Hook had the subtly-named Revenge and Stephen Morris & Gillian Gilbert were even recording together as The Other Two.

But Factory was having financial issues, and another New Order album was a thing that they needed. It didn’t even have to be any good!!

That said, it was eight long years between Republic and Get Ready, and I was happy that they’d come back with not necessarily an updated sound, but at least their rockiest sound since at least Brotherhood, maybe ever, featuring highly enjoyable songs like “Crystal,” “60 Miles an Hour” and today’s subject, “Slow Jam,” one last song that is both shoutable and danceable.

Featuring a spongy rhythm and crunchy guitars, “Slow Jam” was really more of trancey groove song: it basically found what it wanted and rode it for the rest of the song, piling on the guitars for the chorus.

I don’t want the world to change
I like the way it is
Just give me one more wish
I can’t get enough of this
What it is to be alive
And not just to survive
To hit and not to miss
I can’t get enough of this

And sure, while “Slow Jam” is hardly a patch on the glorious music they made two decades prior, Hooky still rides his bass as well as he ever did, and when Sumner chants “can’t get enough of this” over and over at the end of the song, it echoes my feeling about great New Order songs: it’s been over 35 years and I still can’t get enough of them.

“Slow Jam”

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