Under Review: Bad Lieutenant – Never Cry Another Tear

Moving on is never easy.  Too many memories always tie us back to the times and people we’ve left behind.  Almost as hard is starting all over again without resting on the laurels of your previous accomplishments.  Bernard Sumner could tell you all about that experience as he takes on a new, Peter Hook-less project: Bad Lieutenant.  As the New Order leaders’ friction came to a climax just over a year ago, it became clear that the pioneering electronic group wouldn’t be around forever.  In a world of reunited, nostalgia-capitalizing bands, Bad Lieutenant’s creation comes as a bit of a surprise.  Certainly Sumner could perform New Order classics under his own name and have a successful career.  With Never Cry Another Tear, Sumner shows that he’s still interested in creating, even if he’s got his own big shoes to fill.  Aside from the voice, little connects Bad Lieutenant’s music with the dreamy dance-pop of New Order.  Songs breeze by with an amiable lilt, often ending before really saying anything.  Opener “Sink Or Swim” is rather pleasant, with a chiming guitar riff and strong melody.  The motorik rhythm on “Twist Of Fate,” though not provided by Stephen Morris (he’s found elsewhere on the disc), gives a rollicking drive to an otherwise fair track.  An interesting turn comes in the form of guitarist Jake Evans, who takes lead on a few song segments.  His voice is eerily similar to Doves bassist Jimi Goodwin’s.  The contrast between Evans’ weighty baritone and Sumner’s iconic tenor is used to pretty good effect on “This Is Home,” but the music and lyrics still fall short.  Honestly, only two tracks nearly live up to any of New Order’s material: “Summer Days On Holiday” sets a string of Sumner’s memories to a “Mystery Achievement” backbeat, the lyrics specifically mentioning 1983 and 1993; both of which featured major albums from New Order (Power, Corruption & Lies and Republic, respectively).  The other is “Poisonous Intent” which features a very synthy percussion loop.  I know that it’s rather unfair to try and compare Bad Lieutenant to New Order, but given the number of artists (especially artists from the ‘80s) that have successfully moved on to bigger and better projects, it’s tough not to wonder if Sumner just isn’t trying hard enough.

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~ by E. on October 23, 2009.

One Response to “Under Review: Bad Lieutenant – Never Cry Another Tear”

  1. I had a chance to listen to this cd and it is very good. If you like great guitar playing, synths and great melodies you will love this. There is not one bad song on this album, from start to finish this cd rocks, with great New Order style moments in it. Bernard Sumner is a musical genius who has worked with New Order, Electronic and Joy division. If you like this cd Please give New order and Electronic a listen and you will love it, also listen to the first Album By a band called MONACO called Music for Pleasure which is also very good (New Order side project). It is very sad that New Order broke up, let’s hope they patch up their differences and make another album. Give the Bad Lieutenant a chance and you will love it.

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