Just the one major release that we're aware of today: seemingly-immortal New Order's new album, the pleasingly-accurately-apostrophed Waiting for the Sirens' Call.
As The Guardian points out, "Theoretically, critical acclaim and commercial success should be a given for New Order's eighth album," given the current level of namechecking on them and their progenitors Joy Division. Londonist, however, even with all the New Order back catalogue taking pride of place in our record collection, couldn't help getting the feeling that the current single, Krafty, wasn't so much 'Classic New Order' as 'New-Order-By-Numbers'. The fact that the cover is one of, if not the least inspired New Order sleeve design ever, doesn't lend us to good feelings towards the new album either. Of course, looking at this the other way, one could argue that we're just getting greedy and taking New Order for granted.
The Guardian picks up on this: "You get the distinct impression that the band are relying on the fact that, for a music fan of a certain age and certain persuasion, the very sound of New Order... is impossible to resist, regardless of the material." Yet its lengthy review is equivocal. On the one hand it declares that the album is "beguiling - but not quite beguiling enough," yet lets New Order off the hook (pardon the pun) by declaring that one magical moment on the album "suggests a teenager, drawn to New Order for the first time by their current influence, might understand what all the fuss is about."
Uncut picks up on the dance influence returning to the New Order sound, after the unusually guitar-heavy Get Ready. "In fact, Waiting… makes more sense as an emotional, rather than a sonic, sequel to Technique. Whereas Technique was "flawless", however, the new album isn't quite as good, and gets a middling three stars.
XFM is a bit harsher, asking, "Why then, is Waiting For The Sirens’ Call the first truly disappointing New Order album?" Just as Londonist decided to argue that Republic wasn't exactly brilliant, we realised that XFM decided to answer its own question. There are gems, to be sure, but "the sagging quality of the middle section of the album merely conspires to weigh the whole thing down with all the charm of a ball and chain."
The Independent is similarly unimpressed. "There are some shockingly poor songs here." Two stars.
Poor New Order. Won't anyone give them a good review? Well, yes, Indie London does. Indie London decides it's going to stick by its own opinion (rather than consolidate everyone else's...) and contradicts every other review we've read by saying that the album has "barely a duff track on it." Their overall verdict: "It is one of the most effortessly enjoyable albums of the year that could well provide several of the approaching summer's anthems."